How passionate is Yuengling’s fan base?
Its most ardent customers have tattooed that passion on their skin. That loyalty for D.G. Yuengling & Son’s beer certainly gives the Boston ad shop Allen & Gerritsen a running start as it builds the beer’s marketing campaign for 2015. The firm recently won the Yuengling account, a big get for an agency outside of the brewer’s home state, Pennsylvania.
There will be TV and print ads as well as the obligatory social-media work.
The campaign will start in Pennsylvania within a few weeks and then roll out in all 18 states where the beer is sold (including Massachusetts, to which Yuengling returned a year ago, after a long dry spell).
A&G’s chief executive, Andrew Graff (right), hints there will be a celebration of all those crazy tats that Yuengling fans get. Some have had the Yuengling bald eagle emblazoned on their skin. Others picked bottles or cans. A history-obsessed Pennsylvania resident had company founder D.G. Yuengling’s face tattooed on his right leg, just below a tattoo of the Liberty Bell.
This isn’t A&G’s first experience with the brand. Its Philadelphia office — then known as Neiman, before its merger with A&G — worked on a campaign in that market that included a handout of free beer and a simultaneous toast in 250 bars and restaurants.
Graff said the new campaign will focus on Yuengling’s legacy as a manufacturer in its sixth generation of family ownership and as the largest independent brewer left in the United States.
“Each generation wants to honor what has been done in the previous generation, but also make their own mark,” Graff said of the Yuengling family. “Nobody wants to be the one where the brand isn’t successful under their own watch. Not all family-owned businesses work that way, [but] the great ones do.”
Of course, some of Graff’s team members will probably get free beer out of this job. It’s tough work. But no one ever said research was easy.
JON CHESTOJON CHESTO
Chamber of Commerce considers the final four
March Madness hasn’t started yet, but the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce is already down to the final four in its search for a new president.
Those who didn’t make it into the final round were recently notified, a person in the know says. Meanwhile, the finalists are making presentations to the 10-member search committee this week. A decision on who will replace longtime president Paul Guzzi could come by month’s end.
The four candidates — three men and one woman — are diverse by age, race, and geography. Yes, even an out-of-towner is on the list! We were able to find out the name of only one finalist: Jim Rooney. His name has been bandied about since fall as a worthy successor. Rooney, who runs the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, declined to comment.
While the search for the new Guzzi may seem like it’s going on forever, the chamber does have a real deadline. The organization wants to name a new honcho soon so the person can be formally introduced at the chamber’s annual meeting on May 6. — SHIRLEY LEUNG
Tall order: Race up the Hancock to help MS group
How seriously did Doug Clarke take his training as he got ready to race up all 61 flights of the Hancock Tower — the tallest building in New England — for Saturday’s sixth annual Climb to the Top multiple sclerosis fund-raiser?
This seriously: In the months leading up to the event, the senior partner at the Boston law firm Riemer & Braunstein, who’s on the board of the New England chapter of the National MS Society, called a client with an unusual request.
“I said, ‘Hey, do you have a tall building I can get in?’ ” Clarke, 44, recalled. The client did, on State Street, so he gave Clarke access to its stairwell, which the attorney used as a practice space.
As for the grueling Hancock climb, “It doesn’t take that long to do, but it’s pretty intense,” said Clarke, who finished in 17 minutes 15 seconds, slower than in past years, although he had a decent excuse.
As Clarke explains it, he was accompanied by his 8-year-old son, and “when he got tired I held his hand.”
Among the 700-plus other tower climbers were Piper McNealy, chairman of the local MS chapter board and founder of the consulting firm Boston Benefit Partners; a dozen Massachusetts fire departments; a team of cadets from the Boston Police Academy; and at least three dozen employees of Biogen Idec, which sponsored the event for the first time.
As for total amount of money raised, so far the climb has brought in $290,000 for the cause, and that number keeps rising as the online donations continue. — SACHA PFEIFFER
Honoring a fixture on Beacon Hill
Mike Widmer was like the Forrest Gump of Beacon Hill, a constant figure amid all the regime changes under the gold dome, inserting himself into some of the state’s biggest public policy debates over three decades.
So it wasn’t surprising that so many of Boston’s political and business heavy hitters showed up at the JFK library last week to honor the retiring Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation president.
In his speech, Widmer recalled how then-House Speaker Tom Finneran summoned him to a pay phone on a beach in Hawaii to return from vacation and help kill the proposed South Boston “megaplex” in the 1990s.
And then there was the time he tangled with former Partners HealthCare chairman Jack Connors before reaching an agreement on the size of a business penalty when Romneycare was being hashed out in 2006.
Finneran and Connors were just a few of the many luminaries in the 400-person crowd. Public affairs guru Joe Baerlein emceed the event, recalling how he met Widmer as an intern in the Sargent administration.
Other speakers who joined Baerlein on stage included former governor Bill Weld, Governor Charlie Baker, new MTF president Eileen McAnneny, and DentaQuest chief executive Fay Donohue.
The guy who sent the most barbs Widmer’s way was House Speaker Bob DeLeo. He began his speech with a light-hearted jab at Widmer’s six-figure salary.
“No one understood public service like Mike Widmer,” DeLeo said. “[But] he never got paid quite like a public servant.” — JON CHESTOCan’t keep a secret? Tell us. E-mail Bold Types at email@example.com.