Dr Pepper Snapple Hands Ad Duties for Three Brands to McGarryBowen

Canada Dry, Sunkist, A&W Moved From Y&R Without Review

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Dr Pepper Snapple Group said it has shifted ad duties for three major brands -- Canada Dry, Sunkist and A&W Root Beer -- from WPP's Y&R to Dentsu-owned McGarryBowen without a review.

A spokesman for Dr Pepper Snapple Group said Y&R will stay on the roster to handle the 7UP brand, Deutsch, Los Angeles, will work on Dr Pepper and Snapple trademarks, and Laird & Partners will continue with Mott's. Representatives for Y&R and McGarryBowen did not respond to requests for comment before press time.

The move is the fourth in a series of blows to the marketer relationship for Y&R, whose San Francisco office has been a longtime roster agency for Cadbury Schweppes, which spun off its beverage portfolio to create the Dr Pepper Snapple Group. In 2008, the marketer shifted three different brands to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch from Y&R: Dr Pepper, Snapple and then Diet Dr Pepper. The most recent shift to McGarryBowen leaves it with work for just one brand, 7UP.

In a statement, Jim Trebilcock, Dr Pepper Snapple Group's exec VP-marketing, said, "New ideas will bring a fresh perspective" to Canada Dry, Sunkist and A&W." He added: "We look forward to working with McGarryBowen to develop new platforms to promote these brands."

The Plano, Texas-based beverage giant bucked marketing trends last year when it chose to boost 2009 ad spending by some $20 million to $154 million overall, according to Kantar Media figures. On a brand-by-brand basis, it reduced spending on Dr Pepper and 7UP and increased it for Snapple, Diet Dr Pepper and Cherry Dr Pepper.

The company is announcing its fourth quarter and full-year 2009 results this week, so it remains to be seen if that strategy worked.

In May 2009, Mr. Trebilcock told Ad Age that his view on bigger competitors PepsiCo and Coca-Cola was this: "First of all, you have to have the right attitude, which is you know you're going to be outspent. ... I try not to do what they do, because if I do what they're doing, I'm third, and I can almost always tell you we'll fail. If you look at our total CSD [carbonated soft drink] portfolio, they're heavily in the cola business. I'm No. 1 in flavors. That's all I worry about."

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Contributing: Natalie Zmuda

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