NEW YORK Anheuser-Busch and PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N) are expanding their purchasing alliance on goods and services to include U.S. media spending, a landmark move that could affect their ads for the Super Bowl, one of advertising's biggest annual events.
The maker of Budweiser beer, owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR), and the maker of Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay snacks announced a deal in October to jointly purchase a range of items from computers to travel.
Spokesmen for PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch said on Monday that the companies have expanded the agreement, aimed at saving money for reinvestment, to national television, print and outdoor media buys. PepsiCo spokesman Dave DeCecco said the decision was made in December.
News of the wider agreement was first reported on Monday on Advertising Age's website, which said the companies were believed to have already made joint approaches to media companies such as General Electric Co's (GE.N) NBC Universal, Time Warner Inc's (TWX.N) Turner and Conde Nast.
DeCecco declined to comment on talks with media companies or how the deal might impact advertising for next year's Super Bowl, which counts both companies among its biggest advertisers. He said the cooperation is in regard to purchasing only, and not media planning or strategy.
Anheuser and PepsiCo together spent more than $1.15 billion on U.S. measured media last year, according to Advertising Age.
This year's National Football League Championship game, held in February, set a record as the most watched U.S. telecast, demonstrating why advertisers paid up to $3 million for a 30-second commercial.
PepsiCo did not advertise any of its beverage brands during the game for the first time in 23 years, but it did have spots for its Doritos chips.
Shares of PepsiCo were down 33 cents at $66.35 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange while Anheuser-Busch InBev's U.S.-listed shares were up 13 cents at $50.97.
(Reporting by Martinne Geller; editing by Gunna Dickson)