Wieden & Kennedy snags Diet Coke

Amid softening sales, soft-drink brand yanks biz away from DraftFCB

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as sales for diet coke lose volume, Coca Cola Co. is shifting advertising duties for the brand from DraftFCB Group, New York, to Coke Classic shop Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., a spokeswoman said.

DraftFCB Group, part of Interpublic Group of Cos., has had the account since 2001.

"FCB has done some good work, but we're taking the brand in another direction," the spokeswoman said, adding, "We've been pleased with the work Wieden & Kennedy has done on the 'Coke side of life."'

The marketer spent $56 million through August on measured media for the Diet Coke brand, according to data from TNS Media Intelligence.

But amid a roiling soft-drink market (see story, p. 3) the brand's volume in grocery, drug chains, convenience and gas, and mass merchants excluding Wal-Mart fell 3%, according to Beverage Digest. In 2005, domestic volume for the brand grew 0.1% in 2005 in all channels.

DraftFCB in a statement said it remains on the Coca-Cola roster. "Our commitment to Coca-Cola remains strong and we'll be discussing new opportunities with the client in the coming weeks." The agency will continue some work outside of the U.S., and will break a print campaign for Diet Coke in January and February.

New TV spots via Wieden & Kennedy will break later in the first quarter.
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