Element 79 will continue working on the Gatorade brand, said Mary Doherty, a Gatorade spokeswoman. "Since we introduced Propel in 2002, the business has achieved significant growth, while -- at the same time -- our Gatorade business continued to expand. Both businesses are now at a juncture where focused attention is what we believe is best for each," she said in an e-mail.
Gatorade spent $191 million in measured media in 2006 and $156 million for the first nine months of 2007, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Spending behind Propel increased from $68 million for 2006 to $70 million for the first nine months of 2007.
Propel competes in a category that consists of 130 or so vitamin-laced waters, including some other PepsiCo brands, such as Aquafina Alive, Sobe Life Water and the new G2, also from Gatorade.
Total sales for the bottled-water category in the U.S. for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 27 were $5.2 billion, with the bulk, $4.14 billion, sold as still water in small plastic bottles, according to data from IRI, which includes supermarkets, drug stores and mass-market retailers but excluding Wal-Mart, club stores, vending machines and convenience stores. Propel's total sales in the non-jug, plastic-bottle category were $227 million, down almost 1% from the same 52 weeks in the previous year.
Goodby Silverstein, the agency for Frito Lay's Doritos brand, has been growing its portfolio of PepsiCo assignments, last year adding Cheetos. The shop also worked in the past with Massimo Fasanella d'Amore, the newly named CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, when he ran the international business.
Executives from Goodby Silverstein and Element 79 did not return calls seeking comment by deadline.
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Contributing: Jeremy Mullman