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With its pending acquisition of Orangina, Coca-Cola Co. is gaining a brand known for quirky, popular advertising.

But whether the creator of those ads, the Paris office of Young & Rubicam, will join Coca-Cola's agency roster remains to be seen. That's because the agency currently works for Cadbury Schweppes' Dr Pepper/Seven Up unit. Y&R also handles some international foods business for Pepsi-Cola Co. parent PepsiCo.

At least one Coca-Cola agency executive believes the cola king may try to add Y&R despite the possible conflicts. A Coca-Cola spokesman said it's premature to say whether the marketer will look to switch agencies on Orangina.


Coca-Cola must pass various regulatory hurdles before the approximately $840 million acquisition from Pernod Ricard is sealed.

The deal involves Orangina, Orangina Light, Orangina Plus and Orangina Rouge. The last was introduced with a hugely successful spot aimed at teens that featured an actor dressed as an Orangina bottle and spoofed the movie "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

Y&R has held the account since 1994. A Y&R/Europe spokesman said the agency sees no conflict in handling assignments for both Dr Pepper/Seven Up and Orangina. Y&R's Paris office also handles the estimated $500,000 U.S. portion of the Orangina account.

"Obviously, it has not been a conflict in the past. We handled both accounts perfectly comfortably," said the spokesman.

That was before Coca-Cola came into the picture, however.

A spokesman for Dr Pepper/Seven Up said it is too early to say whether there will be a conflict.

"At this point anything would be speculative," he said. "We've had a solid relationship with Young & Rubicam for 20 years for Dr Pepper and the last three years for Seven Up. It's been a very solid long-term relationship. We feel very comfortable with our relationship with Y&R, and we have to see what happens with Coke."


Orangina is sold in 60 countries but has only limited distribution in the U.S. Industry observers said the brand has major growth potential here and abroad.

Emanuel Goldman, a beverage analyst with PaineWebber, said the likely major push for Orangina will be overseas, where orange-flavor soft drinks are the second-largest segment behind colas.

Orange soda is not as popular in the U.S., though this year stands to see some action with Pepsi's expected new push behind Mandarin Orange Slice. In October, Pepsi tapped Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, to work on possible new creative for that brand, which has had no airtime since 1993.

Pepsi markets Mirinda orange soda in international markets. Coca-Cola also markets Fanta, with worldwide advertising handled by Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York.

The segment leader in U.S. supermarkets through Aug. 24 was Cadbury Schweppes' Sunkist brand, with an 18.8% share of sales, followed by Pepsi's Slice, with 12.6%; Coca-Cola's Minute Maid, with 12.5%; and Cadbury Schweppes' Crush with 8.6%. Private-label brands rounded out the segment.

Contributing: Pat Sloan.

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