Coke ad chief status uncertain

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Coca-Cola Co. advertising chief Ian Rowden is said to be taking a leave of absence, causing speculation that he has been dismissed by Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Jones. Should the VP-consumer communications not return from leave, he would be the latest casualty of the company shake-ups under CEO Doug Daft's new regime. Mr. Daft and Mr. Jones are said to be unhappy with the current global ad campaign for Coca-Cole Classic that carries the "Enjoy" tagline, which insiders say was the brainchild of Mr. Rowden and former marketing chief Charlie Frenette. Company spokesmen declined to comment on the nature of the situation or Mr. Rowden's status. Last month, Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York, were hired to develop new Classic creative following the dissolving of so-called in-house agency Edge Creative.

Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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