Coke Swaps 8% of Workforce for Marketing Budget Boost

31 January 2003

Coca-Cola said Thursday it plans to eliminate 1,000 jobs, equivalent to 8% of its North American workforce, switching the saved dollars to brand marketing. Atlanta, where the beverage behemoth is headquartered, will bear the brunt, around half, of the losses.

The dismissals – designed to rectify overlap among Coca-Cola North America, Coca-Cola Fountain, Minute Maid, Odwalla and Danone Waters of North America – will be phased over the next few months. The gaps will be filled by combining marketing, information technology, human resources, finance, legal and administrative personnel across its units.

Promised a Coke-spoke: “This will make our North American business simpler in process, sharper in strategic focus and more competitive in the market. We will strip complexity from our operations and enhance efficiency.”

She also assured that the move will not affect its legion of ad agencies, among them independents shops as well as titans like Interpublic Group and WPP Group. The job-slashing is aimed more at efficiency than economy; cost savings will be reinvested into brand marketing.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff