Leagas Delaney London leaps onto Coca-Cola roster

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LONDON -- Coca-Cola has chosen London agency Leagas Delaney to work on a secret project for Fanta - the world's fourth biggest soft drink brand. The agency emerged the victor from a pitch, kept quiet from the rest of the industry, against DMB&B and Publicis.

DMB&B held the global Fanta account until last month when it was scooped up by U.S. agency Cliff Freeman and Partners, leaving DMB&B local assignments in 12 countries.

Leagas Delaney's task relates to one country only, says a Coca-Cola Great Britain spokeswoman, but she refuses to reveal any other details. The decision to appoint the agency does "not necessarily" come from Europe, she adds. However, Gavin Darby, president for Coca-Cola Northern Europe works out of Coke's London office. Fanta's position in Europe is less robust than its worldwide ranking. And in the U.K., Fanta has had no ad support since 1992.

The London shop's appointment in addition to Cliff Freeman is further evidence of Coke's recent ad strategy of farming work out to a string of roster agencies; until 1994, it had been aligned with McCann-Erickson for 38 years.

"Our policy is to aggressively seek out the best creative talent," says the Coke GB spokeswoman. "It isn't irregular really. We often appoint agencies on special projects."

As is the case for all Coca-Cola brands, all work produced for Fanta by the global agency (Cliff Freeman) will be available for each market where it can be adapted by the local service agencies. Coca-Cola sells its products in 197 countries across the world.

Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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