STARCOM MEDIAVEST WINS $350 MILLION COKE MEDIA ACCOUNT

Unseats Longtime Incumbent Universal McCann

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Coca-Cola Co. has consolidated its $350 million domestic media account at Publicis Groupe's
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Starcom MediaVest following an intense two-month review.

Incumbent unseated
The agency unseated Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann to win one of the most highly prized and hotly contested pieces of business around.

Starcom MediaVest will handle all media planning and buying within the U.S. for all the beverage giant's brands: Coke, Diet Coke, Vanilla Coke and Cherry Coke; Sprite; sports drink Powerade; Dasani water; Fanta; Nestea brands and Minute Maid juices.

In a statement, David Raines, vice president of integrated communications at Coca-Cola who conducted the review, said, "The consolidation of our media planning and buying responsibilities is designed to allow us to respond quickly to innovative ideas and opportunities, while enhancing efficiencies and accountability."

Starcom MediaVest Group's Starcom, Chicago, had handled planning for Minute Maid juices, while sibling MediaVest, New York, handled all other brand planning. Universal McCann did buying for all the brands.

Two other contenders also took part in the pitch, Aegis Group's Carat and WPP Group's MindShare.

Consolidation
Coca-Cola said in September it wanted to name a single firm to handle planning, media execution, strategic analysis and media tracking for the entire beverage portfolio, and cited the company's January merger of its three North American divisions as the catalyst for the review.

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