Amid continuing soft sales for its flagship Pepsi, the marketer plans to use a new Marketing Council comprised of top executives to breathe new life into the brand and beef up global marketing.
Last year, all of Pepsi-Cola's brands got $179 million in measured media support, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The council was announced to Pepsi employees and bottlers last week, along with the resignation of Brian Swette, exec VP-chief marketing officer, a 17-year employee.
FOLLOWING ZYMAN'S EXIT
Mr. Swette's departure comes weeks after the resignation of Coca-Cola Co.'s chief marketing officer, Sergio Zyman. Mr. Zyman was replaced by company insider Charles Frenette, who officially stepped into his post May 1.
A Pepsi-Cola spokesman said the changes don't affect the company's three-decade relationship with BBDO Worldwide, New York.
"They are obviously looking to do things differently, though it seems like it's been such a long-term relationship I would be surprised if [there was a] severing of the ties between the two," said Jennifer Solomon, beverage analyst at Salomon Smith Barney.
The changes could lead to a strategic shift for Pepsi, however, with a new positioning that might be more inclusive than the current youth-oriented "Generation Next."
Pepsi-Cola's high-ticket advertising for the Super Bowl this year received poor reviews from bottlers, who criticized the company for not focusing more attention in the ads on its global packaging redesign and 100th anniversary.
The Pepsi Marketing Council, charged with looking at global strategies for Pepsi and its other brands, will be co-chaired by Chairman-CEO Craig Weatherup; Phil Marineau, president-CEO, Pepsi-Cola North America; and Peter Thompson, president, Pepsi-Cola International.
HELPED BUILD GATORADE
Mr. Marineau, a veteran of Quaker Oats Co., where he was credited with building Gatorade into a prominent national brand, joined Pepsi Dec. 1. His appointment sparked speculation marketing changes would soon follow, and that Mr. Swette's role was vulnerable.
Mr. Swette's position is not directly being filled. Three executives are being given expanded duties: Dawn Hudson, senior VP-marketing/flavor brands, new products and joint ventures for Pepsi-Cola North America, who recently joined from sister company Frito-Lay; Janine Bousquette, VP-colas; and Massimo D'Amore, VP-marketing, Pepsi-Cola International.
Emanuel Goldman, a beverage analyst for PaineWebber, said he expects Mr. Marineau to play a key role in trying to boost the domestic Pepsi business.