PepsiCo has agreed in principle to drop its legal action restraining Foote Cone & Belding from working on competing Coca-Cola brands, say insiders, in a deal that allows the agency to take up the reins on Coke’s Dansani bottled water and Powerade sports drink as of December 20.

According to one involved executive, PepsiCo had originally asked the court to impose a two-year restriction – citing competitive and trade secret concerns – on the thirteen FCB staffers who had previously worked on rival Pepsi brands Aquafina and Gatorade before their removal to Omnicom [WAMN: 24-Sep-01].

Under the terms of the agreement, the lucky thirteen are now banned only until June 2002 from any involvement with the Coca-Cola account.

Pending the [then unknown] outcome of the court hearings, Coke on Monday moved Dansani and Powerade back to their previous agencies, Berlin Cameron & Partners and Wieden & Kennedy [WAMN: 20-Nov-01]. Onlookers assume this to have been on a janitorial basis – but as yet there has been no announcement that the business is returning to FCB.

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