The closure earlier this year of Edge Creative, Coca-Cola’s in-house strategic advertising unit, has led to the appointment of Interpublic as guardian of the flagship soft drink’s “brand essence”.

The move reverses earlier Coca-Cola policy, which safeguarded the brand’s sacrosanct image by spreading advertising responsibility among a roster of agencies. But under the new regime, says Coke’s chief marketing officer Stephen Jones, Interpublic is charged with the generation of all ideas and creative consultancy at global level.

It is not known which units of Interpublic – the world’s third largest advertising group – will be involved in the votive task of evolving core messages about Coca-Cola for global evangelization. "This is about telling the Coca-Cola story and ensuring that the basic messages about the world's premier brand have a foundation of consistency," said Jones. Local managers, however, will decide on how those messages are conveyed.

Interpublic’s brand communication responsibility runs across the full spectrum, including not only traditional media but also in-store promotion and online advertising. The appointment takes effect early in 2001.

News source: Financial Times