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Last Updated: Friday, 21 October 2005, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK
Heineken to can TV adverts in UK
Heineken beer bottles
Heineken quickly became one of the UK's best-selling beers
Heineken, the Dutch drinks firm that once said its beer refreshed the parts that other beers cannot reach, will not advertise on UK television next year.

Changing media trends and a core market of 18 to 26-year-olds who do not watch much TV have prompted the changes.

Heineken will instead concentrate on print and poster campaigns, as well as promotions like a roaming bar bus.

Sponsorship of events such as the Champions League and rugby's Heineken Cup will still give it exposure on TV.

Falling flat?

Heineken, the world's fourth-largest brewer, said that it was time to change how it reached out to customers.

One of the problems facing the company is that there are now so many TV channels it is becoming increasingly difficult to buy airtime to reach a key audience.

Actors in a Heineken
Heineken's new adverts tried to push a more hardcore image

Gone are the days when you could almost guarantee that everyone would be watching one or other channels, the company said.

At the same time, the emergence of technologies such as on-demand TV means that many consumers can skip watching ads.

The challenge facing companies across many industries is how to get their message across.

What makes the move by Heineken interesting is that its TV ads were some of the country's most successful and best-remembered.

With its catch-phrase, Heineken "refreshes the parts others beers cannot reach" and featuring humour and willing celebrities such as Paul Daniels, Peter Stringfellow and Vanessa Feltz, it became a staple of the ad break.

New face

But the company, which changed its lager from a weaker version to a full-strength continental pint in 2003, also felt its image needed updating.

In came Hollywood star Ray Liotta, and a supermarket full of Dutch sadomasochists.

While the company said that the campaigns have been successful, it also admitted that it needs to be more creative in luring drinkers, especially at a time when brewing profits are under pressure.

And as a spokesman said, should it not work out, then Heineken can always make a TV comeback.

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