PEPSI, FCB REACH AGREEMENT

Chicago Agency Can Begin Work on Coca-Cola Accounts

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- A settlement in principle has been reached in PepsiCo's lawsuits against Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, people familiar with the suit said today.

The agreement allows FCB to begin work on Coca-Cola Co.'s Dasani bottled water and Powerade energy drink on Dec. 20, but it bars 13 FCB employees from working on the brands until June 1.

An Interpublic

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executive, who asked not to be identified, said PepsiCo had originally asked for a two-year restriction on the employees, citing competitive and trade secrets.

PepsiCo and sibling Quaker Oats Co. moved $350 million in accounts out of FCB on Sept. 19.

Both companies then sued FCB last month to prevent the agency from working on Coke's Dasani and Powerade, market rivals to PepsiCo's Aquafina water and Quaker's Gatorade sports drink.

When PepsiCo and FCB failed to reach an agreement in a settlement hearing earlier this month, Coke moved the two products back to their original agencies: Dasani to Berlin, Cameron & Partners, New York, and Powerade to Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., respectively.

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