Coke to Overhaul Roster in Favour of IPG and WPP

28 September 2001

Days after rival PepsiCo consolidated its ad duties at Omnicom Group [WAMN: 24-Sep-01], Coca-Cola is reportedly about to announce sweeping changes to its global ad roster, pouring the bulk of its brands into Interpublic Group and WPP Group.

According to sources, the realignment will deprive Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Oregon of its global Diet Coke and recently won Powerade accounts, with respective US billings of $25 million and $60m.

In addition, Leo Burnett will be dropped from the roster, losing the $40m US Minute Maid duties, while its Bcom3 sibling D’Arcy will lose Coke Classic’s NASCAR auto racing ad business, the billings and recipient of which are unknown.

The Diet Coke, Powerade and Minute Maid accounts will likely be handed to IPG shops. However, WPP-owned Ogilvy & Mather is expected to gain the Sprite duties, worth $85m in the US, from Interpublic’s Lowe Lintas & Partners. O&M is also in line for the Fanta business, currently split between several agencies.

The future of the $25m duties for Dasani water and the $1m Mello Yello soda account – both currently at independent New York agency Berlin Cameron & Partners – is as yet unknown.

The realignment is thought to be behind Cliff Freeman & Partners’ recent resignation of its Fanta and KMX business.

Coke has not commented, though the consolidation is expected to be confirmed Friday.

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