TRIARC MAKES OVER RC COLA IN ATTEMPT TO REVIVE BRAND: BUDGET WILL RISE FOR NEW ADS SET TO DEBUT IN '98

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Triarc Co.'s Triarc Beverage Group has tapped Blum/Herbstreith, New York, to handle its RC Cola as part of a move to give the lackluster brand its first facelift in several years.

The makeover will include new packaging and graphics, and its first national broadcast support since about 1994. The advertising will make its debut in the first quarter.

"We are finalizing a really meaningful and relevant brand positioning that we haven't had in some time," said Jeff Spencer, senior VP-marketing for RC and Diet Rite, of the cola brand.

'MORE THAN WE'VE SPENT'

According to Beverage Digest, Royal Crown Co., the umbrella for RC*Cola and Diet Rite, had a market share of about 2% for the first half of 1997.

Mr. Spencer declined to specify how much ad spending will be increased for the two brands, but said "it will be certainly more than we have spent in several years."

According to Competitive Media Reporting, Triarc spent less than $1 million on national media for both RC Cola and Diet Rite last year.

Diet Rite's national TV spots will be first out of the gate. Diet Rite's non-colas, which have no caffeine, sodium or calories, are being positioned as having a "healthier halo" than competitors, and RC Cola is being positioned as a beverage that represents "freedom of choice," Mr. Spencer said.

Advertising will include a mix of radio, outdoor and print.

Blum/Herbstreith has been handling Diet Rite on a project basis. From 1994 through 1996, both brands were handled by GSD&M, Austin, Texas.

Triarc also is adding new products and packaging for its trendier premium brands, Snapple and Mistic.

SNAPPLE FARMS LINE PLANNED

For the Snapple Beverages unit, which Triarc acquired from Quaker Oats Co. last spring, a new line called Snapple Farms, with five flavors of 100% fruit juices, is being launched next month. No TV support is planned at this time, a company spokesman said.

Snapple's agency is Deutsch, New York.

Products in the Mistic Brands line are being given new graphics, to appear by Jan. 1.

Separately, Triarc said it's on track for an acquisition this month of Cable Car

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