World number one soft drinks maker the Coca-Cola Company has signalled a change in its ad agency tastes, with independent shop Wieden+Kennedy becoming the favored flavor to handle Coke Classic across North America.

The shift from WPP Group's Berlin Cameron & Partners came abruptly and without a review. The agency has held the business since 2003. Last year Atlanta-headquartered Coke spent $146.2 million (€120.4m; £82.4m) on ads for its Classic brand in North America, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Coke says Berlin Cameron will continue to work on its advertising through this year's Thanksgiving - New Year holiday season, although the beverage behemoth declined to comment on its relationship with the agency beyond the end of 2005.

The move comes as Coke prepares for a global 'iconic' advertising campaign under the leadership of Mary Minnick, appointed president of marketing and innovation in May this year. Both W+K and Berlin Cameron are in the running for the business.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff