Doner hired to create ads for Heileman's malt liquor

August 23, 1994|By Kim Clark | Kim Clark,Sun Staff Writer

G. Heileman Brewing has hired W. B. Doner & Co. to advertise its malt liquor brands, some of which have been buffeted by controversy and bad publicity in recent years, the Baltimore office of the advertising agency announced yesterday.

Doner will develop and place at least $8 million worth of ads a year for Colt 45, Mickey's, Champale and Special Export beers and malt liquors, which are made at Heileman's Halethorpe brewery, said Herb Fried, chairman of the agency's executive committee.

Advertising agencies usually collect 15 percent of bookings as their fees.

Mr. Fried said the 160-person Baltimore office would manage the account. "This is an example of business returning to Baltimore," he said.

The winning of the Heileman account represents a homecoming for Doner, a Detroit-based agency that opened its office in Baltimore in 1955 to serve the old National Bohemian brewery, which was later purchased by Heileman.

And in 1964, Doner's advertisements introduced the nation to National Bohemian's Colt 45, a malt liquor with 4.5 percent alcohol. Domestic beers typically contain only about 3 percent to 4 percent alcohol.

Doner's Colt 45 ads made up one of the nation's longest-running and most successful beer campaigns.

They featured a catchy whistled tune and a stone-faced man who watched an intrepid waiter fight bulls, evade sharks, or even fly to the moon to deliver a Colt 45.

Doner had the local beer account for 35 years, losing it in 1990 when Heileman was taken over by its banks in a bankruptcy court proceeding.

But the new advertising agencies, New York-based Madison Avenue.

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