PepsiCo Taps Weber Shandwick for Diet Pepsi PR

Adds to Interpublic Shop's Roster of Company's Beverages

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PepsiCo has hired Interpublic Group of Cos.' Weber Shandwick as its agency of record for the Diet Pepsi PR account.

"We liked the thinking and creativity and approach Weber had taken with the Pepsi Next launch so we asked them to do some thinking on Diet Pepsi," said a Pepsi spokeswoman.

The firm, which referred comment to the client, works with Sierra Mist and SoBe. It also recently won Mountain Dew and Pepsi Next.

The company sent the firm an RFP but didn't do a review. Harrison & Shriftman had been working with the brand on a project basis and will continue to work on projects, said the spokeswoman.

It's understood that this agency change is the last in a series of beverage-brand PR changes at the company. Earlier this year, CEO Indra Nooyi announced that its North America beverage division had identified 100 agencies that it planned to eliminate from its roster.

On the PR front, PepsiCo continues to work with Omnicom's Fleishman-Hillard, IPG's PMK-BNC and independent Olson PR, among other agencies on a project basis. PMK-BNC works on the Pepsi brand.

Though it's too early to define Weber's scope, it will certainly be tasked with boosting a struggling brand. According to a recent Ad Age story about soft-drink sales declines, Diet Pepsi suffered the steepest decline of the top 10 brands in the category. The brand saw an 8.2% volume decline while Diet Coke maintained its No. 2 slot.

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