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COCA-COLA SEEKS NEW IDEAS FOR GLOBAL CAMPAIGN

Eight Ad Agencies Asked to Participate

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- As the Coca-Cola Co. is launching multiple line extensions of the Coke regular and diet brands, the beverage giant has widened its search for a big advertising idea, asking eight agencies to create ideas that could become a global integrated campaign.
Coke was originally planning to break some global iconic TV spots by the end of June, but many failed to impress Mary Minnick, the marketer's executive vice president and president of marketing, strategy and innovation, who took the helm in May.
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Global agency teams are being led by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather and Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, both New York; Publicis Groupe's Publicis Worldwide, Paris; and two independents, Mother, London; and Wieden & Kennedy, Amsterdam.

A spokesman confirmed the details about a global agency meeting Coca-Cola convened in Paris last week.

Two separate work streams
"We are continuing to work with a number of agency partners worldwide to find new and bigger ideas for brand Coke that will work in multiple markets,” the spokesman said in a statement. “To achieve that goal, we are working in two separate work streams. First, we are continuing the process to develop single 'iconic' spots that are designed to supplement local work. Secondly, we recently asked a second group of agency partners to work on larger ideas that may possibly form the basis of an integrated global campaign or platform. Both processes will continue simultaneously throughout 2005."

The spokesman's comments echoed those made by Chairman-CEO Neville Isdell to Wall Street analysts yesterday in a conference call. He didn’t disclose details about the Paris meeting.

'Tip of the iceberg'
“We also asked a second group of agency partners to work on some larger ideas that may possibly form the basis of an integrated global campaign in the future,” Mr. Isdell said in the call. “Because, with the amount that we spend behind Coke, we want to be absolutely sure we have got the creative right. But the iconic is the tip of the iceberg.”

Mr. Isdell reiterated that the marketer has two advertising programs working in parallel, with local work by country and then the iconic work to “supplement” the local work on a global basis.

The Paris meeting was led by Esther Lee, Coca-Cola's global chief creative officer. Thought to be a rebriefing of the global iconic effort that has yet to produce any spots, executives confirmed this is a third layer in the marketer’s increasingly complex advertising strategy. Coke was originally planning to break some iconic spots by the end of June, but many of the spots failed to impress Mary Minnick, the marketer's executive vice president and president of marketing, strategy and innovation, who took the helm in May.

A Coca-Cola spokesman said the process is continuing.

Coke's Buenos Aires 'trade show'
Coke in May gathered 200 of its top marketing managers in Buenos Aires in what it called a “trade show” of products and packages. Attendees were asked to come back with at least three “significant new ideas” to be incorporated into the 2006 business plan.

“Some like Brazil actually came back with about eight,” Mr. Isdell said in the conference call. “This is where the power of our global business is really hard to match. In the past we did not have the processes in place to capture it.”

He added that many of ideas shared in Buenos Aires were now being developed for next year.

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Matthew Creamer contributed to this report.

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