FCB had just completed a new campaign when Quaker Oats Co. announced the sale of the brand, and had campaigned to keep the account under Triarc.
Deutsch was one of three shops contacted by Triarc on the creative project, along with Snapple's original agency, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, which declined to pitch, and DiNoto/Lee, both New York.
FORMAL CHANGE TO COME
With the Snapple acquisition expected to be finalized this week, a formal change in agencies could be announced.
Deutsch has close ties with Triarc and its CEO Mike Weinstein because the agency handles the Mistic Beverages division.
DiNoto/Lee, a creative boutique, declined comment.
Deutsch CEO Donny Deutsch confirmed that the agency was working on a TV spot for Snapple and said, "Triarc has some immediate needs and we're helping them out."
Executives close to the situation said Deutsch has been charged with Wendy's return, and Triarc is "dictating the creative" on the new effort. The commercial is expected to break in a month.
Triarc Senior VP-Marketing Ken Gilbert declined comment.
QUAKER ALSO EYED WENDY
Even under Quaker, plans were afoot to bring back Wendy. An executive close to Snapple said Quaker's negotiations with Ms. Kaufman had been derailed by the move to unload Snapple.
Wry Wendy was a quintessential New York type depicted in Kirshenbaum's TV campaign as a receptionist/secretary at the company who answered consumers' letters about Snapple. Wendy was pulled in late 1995, about a year after Quaker bought the brand.
It's long been speculated that Triarc, which favors edgy advertising, would return to the spokeswoman that helped make Snapple popular in the East. But Triarc has failed to initiate a formal review and has largely kept its agencies in the dark about the future.
FCB executives had been hoping their quirky current campaign for Snapple-which hearkens back to the brand's smart-aleck ad heritage-would be enough to keep the beverage in its fold.
The assignment to Deutsch took FCB unawares. An executive close to the agency said FCB hadn't been told about the Deutsch assignment, although there had "been signs" something was amiss.
Snapple has had nearly as many ad agencies as owners. Under its initial ownership of Leonard Marsh, the brand was handled by Kirshenbaum, which first made Wendy a star. After Snapple was sold to Quaker in 1994, Kirshenbaum came up with an uninspired effort last spring, "Threedom is freedom." By June, Quaker moved Snapple to FCB, which handles its Gatorade.