Interpublic, WPP Win Big in Coke Shakeup

Berlin Cameron, Wieden Only Independent Shops on Roster

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BOSTON ( -- Coca-Cola Co. today finalized its shakeup of its advertising agency roster, as Interpublic Group of Cos. and WPP Group become the big winners while two independent shops as well as minority agencies outside those global holding companies pick up a smattering of work.

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Interpublic, which lost $350 million in competing PepsiCo business last month, picks up most of the accounts: Diet Coke ( Lowe, Lintas & Partners), Powerade (Foote, Cone & Belding), Dasani (FCB), Minute Maid juices (FCB), Simply Orange (FCB), High-C (FCB), Fruitopia (FCB), Fresca (likely Campbell Mithun), Citra (likely Campbell Mithun), Barq's root beer (likely Carmichael Lynch), Mad River (Lowe), Planet Java (Lowe) and Cherry Coke (McCann-Erickson Worldwide).

Interpublic agencies will handle undisclosed local brands in North America, though the company's international divisions may choose agencies for their 200-plus local brands.

Payback for Interpublic
The shift, worth an estimated $93 million, according to last year's Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR measured media figure, is to compensate Interpublic for the PepsiCo loss, according to one person familiar with the company.

WPP, which Atlanta-based Coca-Cola is said to want as a backup network, gets its foot in the door with Sprite, Diet Sprite and Fanta in all markets.

In a memo that division marketing managers around the world received Oct. 5, Chief Marketing Officer Steve Jones laid out the rationale, saying, "They [Interpublic and WPP] were selected because of their worldwide strategic and creative capabilities, strong infrastructure and their global reach to the 200 countries where we do business."

Meanwhile, independent shop Berlin, Cameron & Partners, New York, keeps Pibb and Mello Yello, and picks up Minute Maid sodas. The agency had lost Dasani to FCB earlier this week. Another independent, Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., retains the energy drink KMX. Weiden had lost its Coke business last month.

It's uncertain if Nestea Cool, which has been handled by Berlin Cameron, will shift to Lowe Lintas, according to insiders.

Though it was dismissed from Coca-Cola Classic promotional work, Minute Maid juices and other small brands, Bcom3 Group continues to work on Walt Disney Co. branded beverages that are under development with Coca-Cola, according to an internal company document.

Minority campaigns
On the minority front, Bcom3's Latino arm, Lapiz, retains domestic Hispanic advertising; African-American shop Burrell Communications, of which Publicis Groupe owns a minority stake, continues urban marketing, according to a Coca-Cola spokesman.

Japanese advertising giant Dentsu, which owns part of Bcom3, will keep Coca-Cola brands in Japan, the spokesman said.

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