Vita Coco Ends Saatchi Relationship After Only Six Months

Coconut Water Brand Opts To Work With Multiple Agencies Around the World

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Saatchi & Saatchi, New York's relationship with Vita Coco coconut water has ended after a very short run.

While the shop created the concept for a new campaign that will launch soon, the brand has decided to farm out the execution to several agencies located around the globe. As a result, Vita Coco will not be renewing a six-month agreement with Saatchi that began in July of 2014, according to the brand.

"We're excited with the overall idea's potential," Jane Prior, Vita Coco's executive VP for global brand strategy and development, said in a statement. But "over the course of the last few months, it became clear Vita Coco's global teams need more regional, tactical support to deliver on Saatchi's concept. For this reason, we're mobilizing in-house resources and other agency partners to deliver the final campaign in multiple, international markets."

The brand declined to reveal its new agency partners because they are still being finalized, a spokesman said. The brand also declined to reveal creative details on the new campaign. A Saatchi spokeswoman declined to comment.

Vita Coco, which has been a leader in the fast-growing coconut water category, is increasingly setting its sights on overseas growth. The brand recently launched in China as a result of a new deal with Red Bull China. The pact, announced last year, involved Vita Coco selling a 25% stake to Reignwood Group, the parent company of Red Bull China. The brand is now sold in more than 30 international markets, up from 15 late last year.

Saatchi's signing last year marked the first time the brand worked with a big agency. In September, Vita Coco spokesman Arthur Gallego said the relationship was part of an "ongoing global growth strategy" noting that "this is the first time that we've worked with a truly global agency."

So what changed? "After a lot of consideration, we felt that what we needed were local [agency] partnerships rooted in those [global] markets," Mr. Gallego said on Thursday. "You can say that an agency is global and has a bunch of global offices. But that doesn't necessarily mean they are as entrenched in those markets."

For Saatchi, the move comes at the same time it is dealing with the loss of major portions of the Yoplait account. General Mills recently decided to make Wieden & Kennedy the lead agency on the big yogurt brand.

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