Vitaminwater Leaves Berlin Cameron for BBH

Move Is a Blow to Embattled WPP Shop

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NEW YORK ( -- Coca-Cola's Vitaminwater brand is shifting creative duties to Bartle Bogle Hegarty from Berlin Cameron United after a review, according to executives familiar with the matter.

Publicis Groupe-backed Bartle Bogle emerged the winner after a pitch that began late last year. Among those chasing the account were the incumbent, WPP's Berlin Cameron, and Coca-Cola roster shop Wieden & Kennedy, executives said.

The marketer could not be reached for comment by deadline. Agency representatives either declined to comment or could not be immediately reached.

Spending increased to $54 million in the first three quarters of 2008 from $28 million for all of 2007, according to TNS.

The account shift comes as the beverage brand has hit some legal trouble. A class action suit was brought against Coca-Cola, which purchased Glaceau Vitaminwater in 2007, in California yesterday for allegedly illegal labeling and marketing its drinks as healthy, and in the process generating more than half a billion dollars in revenue. Whitestone, N.Y.-based Glaceau is the maker of Vitaminwater, Fruitwater, Smartwater and Vitaminenergy brands.

The move also comes as Coca-Cola has been examining relationships with its marketing partners as it seeks to slash millions of dollars in costs. The beverage giant recently trimmed its European ad agency roster and has also thrown marketing duties on its Sprite brand into review, according to executives.

Meanwhile, the loss is a huge blow for Berlin Cameron, which landed the account nearly two years ago, since then executing celebrity-heavy campaigns and placing a spot for the brand in last year's Super Bowl.

It's one of a slew of accounts to depart the agency in the past year or so, including Heineken, Boost Mobile account and Tidy Cats.

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