Cadbury Schweppes Makes Change Without Review

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CHICAGO ( -- Cadbury Schweppes' Americas Beverages, amid a comprehensive review of its portfolio and an advertising "competition" for its lead 7 UP brand, is moving the ad account for its Snapple brand to Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, without a review, according to executives close to the business.

The account was with New York-based agency

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Deutsch, part of Interpublic Group of Cos., for the past seven years. The agency was handling creative, media, interactive and public relations and will continue to handle PR, but the rest of the account is moving to Cliff Freeman, the executives said.

Marketing chief
The decision to move the account was made today by Randy Gier, Americas Beverages, new executive vice president of marketing, following an internal brand audit. Mr. Gier joined the marketer March 22.

Snapple-branded drinks received $9.3 million in measured media during 2003, and Snapple's Snapple-a-Day line, launched in February 2003, received $2.3 million in media, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Of Cadbury Schweppes' $216 million in 2003 domestic media spending, roughly half was allocated to its beverage brands, according to an analysis of CMR data.

Representatives for Deutsch referred calls to Cadbury. Cliff Freeman, minority-owned by MDC Partners, declined to comment.

Internal audit
According to several executives, Mr. Gier, after conducting the internal audit, declared the Snapple brand had been mishandled and needed a complete overhaul, down to the logo.

"That is absolutely ridiculous," Mr. Gier said through Steve Jarmon, vice president of partner marketing. "I feel the exact opposite. Snapple has continually demonstrated creativity and fresh approaches to its communication."

'Not in jeopardy'
Meanwhile, Cadbury executives last month denied the marketer was running an agency review for 7 Up but declined to clarify the situation, calling it an "internal business matter." Mr. Jarmon earlier this month reiterated that it is not a formal review but a "competition" for a new 7 Up campaign. "The account is not in jeopardy at Y&R [Advertising, part of WPP Group]," he said. "We're going through our current resource and also asking others for ideas on it."

Cadbury is said to be talking with several agencies, including Cliff Freeman and another MDC-backed agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami.

Cadbury's beverage sales were hurt in 2003 by declining soft-drink sales and PepsiCo's coup to have its bottlers replace 7 Up with its own Sierra Mist brand. Share of volume for 7 Up fell 27.8% in 2003, while Sierra Mist surged 89.3%, according to Beverage Marketing Corp. data. Dr Pepper faired better but its volume fell 3.9%. Volume for the Dr Pepper/Seven Up unit for 2003, which ranks No. 3 in the U.S., fell 4.2%, while Coca-Cola's share was down by 0.2% and PepsiCo's share grew 1.8%.

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