Coke fizzes on Bates, assigns Mccann & Grey

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HONG KONG--In a surprise move, McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Guangming, and Grey Worldwide have wrested control of Coca-Cola China's advertising in Hong Kong. Just four months ago, the soft drink giant surprised its roster agencies by handing its $400,000 summer promotion to Bates, Hong Kong, following a tough pitch against Leo Burnett Co., McCann-Erickson and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles.

But Coca-Cola China's country manager for Hong Kong and Macau, Scott Price, has dropped Bates just three weeks into its Japan-inspired summer promotion. Based on a desire to promote economic efficiencies and develop less-conflicting strategies between brands, he realigned Coca-Cola's creative and strategic business into two divisions.

McCann-Erickson Guangming, following a pitch against D'Arcy and Leo Burnett, now will handle advertising and media for all carbonated brands, such as Coke and Sprite. No budget was disclosed.

Grey, Hong Kong, meanwhile, beat Bates Advertising to handle non-carbonated brands such as Bonaqua, Nestea, Powerade, Sunfill, Tianyudi and Hi-C, worth up to $3.8 million.

Copyright July 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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