Y&R Loses Almost 40-Year Hold on Dr Pepper

Deutsch Picks Up Cadbury Schweppes Brand but Incumbent Keeps Diet Version, Other Beverages

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- After nearly four decades, Y&R has lost the Dr Pepper account.

The brand today said it has handed its creative account to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch Los Angeles. Y&R, San Francisco, will remain the agency of record for Diet Dr Pepper, Sunkist, 7UP, A&W and Canada Dry.

Looking for something different
Y&R, part of WPP Group, had handled the Dr. Pepper account since 1969. However, in recent years, it became clear that the brand was looking for something different. In 2005, Dr Pepper widened its call for creative within the Y&R network, looking beyond the New York office for the first time in its relationship with the agency.

Dr Pepper began searching for an agency to handle a creative project in February, and that eventually led to the change, the brand said in a statement.

"We looked at a number of agencies, and each of them brought its own unique vision to the project," Sean Gleason, senior VP, Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, said in a release. "However, the Deutsch L.A. team brought an approach that quickly grew into more than a project. Much more. We feel we have an exciting new campaign for Dr Pepper."

Division to spin off from parent
The move comes as Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages prepares for a demerger, which will separate it from its British parent company. The division will be renamed the Dr Pepper Snapple Group and listed on the New York Stock Exchange at the beginning of May.

The company spent $47 million on Dr Pepper and Diet Dr Pepper in 2007, down from $83.5 million in 2006. 2007 market share for Dr Pepper was up to 5.9 from 5.8 in 2006, according to the industry publication Beverage Digest.

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