Coca-Cola Starts Agency Shuffle

Interpublic, WPP in; Wieden, Leo Burnett Out

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NEW YORK ( -- Coca-Cola Cos. is reassigning advertising responsibilities for some of its top brands among advertising agencies, according to executives familiar with the situation.

Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., is losing its Diet Coke and recently awarded $60 million Powerade business. Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, is losing MinuteMaid as well as some Coca-Cola Classic seasonal promotional assignments.

Interpublic Group of Cos. is expected to pick up additional duties.

McCann-Erickson Worldwide, an Interpublic agency, currently handles the Coca-Cola Classic account.

"Coca-Cola said it would have a no-conflict policy across [Interpublic]," a top executive at the holding company said.

Last week, Interpublic lost $350 million worth of business when PepsiCo moved its Aquafina, Gatorade, and Tropicana accounts as well as certain Quaker Oats Co. brands to Interpublic rival Omnicom Group.

The same Interpublic executive said the network is now being compensated for that $350 million PepsiCo loss with the additional Coke business.

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Staff writers Kate MacArther and Alice Z. Cuneo contributed to this report.

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