Omnicom Group agencies are set to receive PepsiCo creative and media buying duties billing over $170 million.

Brands affected by the shift include recently acquired sports drink Gatorade as well as Tropicana, Aquafina and Quaker cereals, all previously handled by the Chicago and New York units of Foote, Cone & Belding. The agency is “very disappointed” at the decision, says chief executive Brendan Ryan.

The transfer of the accounts from FCB was widely expected after the acquisition of the network’s parent True North Communications by Interpublic Group, whose shops also handle business for several brands belonging to Pepsi’s arch rival Coca-Cola – a situation reportedly not to the liking of either firm [WAMN: 28-Aug-01].

However, PepsiCo stressed the shift was more concerned with the consolidation of marketing with one group. “Certainly we were aware of a conflict [with the Coke business],” said spokesman Richard M Detwiler Jr, “but the driving force behind this move is the opportunity to achieve synergies.”

The Omnicom agencies to benefit from the billings windfall will be determined in the coming months.

News source: New York Times