Powerade Names Mother as First Global Agency

Sapient Tapped for Digital Work

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Mother, New York, has been tapped to handle global ad work for Coca-Cola's Powerade brand, without a review. A Coca-Cola spokesman said Mother will be Powerade's first global agency. Sapient has also been tapped to handle digital work. The appointments do not impact any of Powerade's local agency relationships.

The assignment is an expansion of the independent agency's relationship with Coca-Cola; Mother, New York, has previously done work for Coke's Full Throttle energy-drink brand, while Mother's London headquarters office has done a range of work including TV spots as part of brand Coca-Cola's Open Happiness campaign, sponsorship events and broadcast work for the Diet Coke brand.

"Working with Mother simply extends the relationship that we already have with them in Latin America and Great Britain," the Coca-Cola spokesman said.

The move comes as the beverage category has declined for a second consecutive year, with fortified waters and sports drinks experiencing steep volume declines.

How much Coca-Cola devotes to marketing Powerade internationally isn't clear, but in the U.S. that figure was just a fraction of the beverage giant's $400 million domestic ad budget. The company spent about $10 million to market Powerade in 2009, according to Kantar Media data. New York-based Ammirati handles Powerade in the U.S.

Powerade spends far less than rival Gatorade, which spent more than $100 million last year on U.S. marketing, though it doesn't seem to be paying off. PepsiCo's Gatorade, which has attempted to reposition itself as "G" with a splashy campaign, is helping to lead the decline in the sports-drink category. Volume fell 15.5% at Gatorade, the largest player in the category, compared with a 1% drop at the smaller Powerade label, according to data released this week by Beverage Marketing Corp.

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