Coke Moves 2012 Olympics Digital Work to LBi From SapientNitro

Shift Is Coup for Agency Looking to Grow Reputation in U.S.

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Coca-Cola has moved global digital work for its 2012 Olympics sponsorship to LBi from SapientNitro, according to executives familiar with the matter.

Coca-Cola could not be reached for comment. Sapient and LBi declined to comment.

A perennial Olympics sponsor, Coca-Cola has kicked off promotions for the 2012 Summer Games in London a year earlier than usual.

Last August, Coke appointed Sapient to the 2012 Olympics business, which would be handled out of its London and Atlanta offices, according to Campaign. LBi, too, has both London and Atlanta offices. This is a coup for the digital agency, which, while enjoying a strong reputation in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe, has been struggling for mind share stateside. But this isn't LBi's first assignment for Coca-Cola; it has handled work for Diet Coke in the U.K.

Early last year, LBi folded two agency acquisitions in New York -- Special Ops Media and Icon Nicholson -- under the LBi banner. Less than 20% of LBi International's $233 million in 2010 revenue came from the U.S., according to Ad Age Data Center.

Sapient remains one of Coke's major digital roster agencies, handling work for brand Coke and active lifestyle brands VitaminWater, SmartWater, Powerade and Fuse.

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