$200 Mil. Coke Account to W+K

LOS ANGELES Coca-Cola has shifted creative duties on the North American ad account for its namesake brand to independent Wieden + Kennedy from WPP Group’s Berlin Cameron/Red Cell without a review, according to sources.

W+K in Portland, Ore., already a client roster shop, adds approximately $200 million in new billings as a result of the shift, sources said.

A client representative confirmed that W+K has been tapped to develop Coke ads for 2006, but declined to say that the entire North American business was moving from New York-based Berlin Cameron. The rep added that Berlin Cameron would continue to produce ads that will run during the upcoming holiday season.

The client rep said both W+K and Berlin Cameron are under consideration and competing for Coke’s global iconic campaign, expected to be decided by the end of the month. The iconic campaign is expected to run in North America as well as other countries worldwide. (Berlin Cameron is contending through its Voluntary United Group unit, which has offices in New York and Madrid, Spain.)

Both agencies declined comment.

According to the sources, Pio Schunker, vice president of advertising for the Atlanta-based soft drink giant, made the decision to move the flagship brand.

W+K already handles Coke’s PowerAde brand, and had produced Coke ads for the 1996 Olympics and the 1998 World Cup, the last work on that brand.

Coca-Cola spent $200 million advertising its Coca-Cola Classic brand in 2004 and $110 million in the first half of 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

—Adweek staff report