The assignment is the first the soft-drink giant has awarded to the Beverly Hills, Calif., talent agency since CAA turned Madison Avenue on its ear two years ago by scoring creative control of main brand Coca-Cola Classic from McCann-Erickson Worldwide.
For McCann, the Nestea shift is another in-your-face salvo from CAA.
McCann's U.S. and international offices have handled ads for the ready-to-drink teas since Coca-Cola set up a joint venture with Nestle last August. To date, McCann's primary work for the brand in the U.S. included a $30 million new-product introductory campaign.
Since then, agency insiders have complained that their relationship with Coca-Cola Chief Marketing Officer Sergio Zyman is becoming increasingly tenuous.
For CAA, the shift is a resounding and rare public vote of confidence from Coca-Cola's mercurial marketing guru. Since Mr. Zyman assumed the top marketing slot, he has signed off on the talent agency's "Always Coca-Cola" work while continuing to strew brand assignments among other agencies.
Elsewhere at Coca-Cola, the long anticipated new Diet Coke commercials from Lowe & Partners/SMS will be unveiled in New York this week but won't make their debut tonight as previously planned.