Another Jump Ball For Coke Classic

Coca-Cola is at it again.

The mercurial client has invited six agencies to present ideas for a global campaign for its flagship brand that could supplant the current “Real” platform used around the world. Just two and a half years ago, Berlin Cameron/Red Cell won lead status on the brand. The WPP shop developed the “Real” campaign, which debuted in January 2003; the tagline evolved into “Make it real,” which ran in the U.S. and overseas earlier this year.

Coke executives briefed roster agencies in Paris last Wednesday, client representative Kelly Brooks confirmed. Contenders are incumbent Berlin Cameron, its sibling Ogilvy & Mather, Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson, Publicis Groupe’s Publicis and independents Wieden + Kennedy and Mother. No date has been set for presentations. Independents Len Fink/Amoeba in Santa Monica, Calif., and Naked in London also attended the briefing because they will try to extend agency ideas in non-TV areas, said Brooks.

Agency executives declined comment.

The move comes just two months after Coke evp Mary Minnick, who had been Asia operating chief, assumed global responsibilities for marketing, innovation and strategic growth. Sources said Minnick, based in Atlanta, wants to put her stamp on the flagship campaign. Minnick was not present at the Paris meeting, which was led by Coca-Cola global chief creative officer Esther Lee and vp Coke franchise Marc Mathieu, sources said.

“We are continuing to work with a number of agency partners worldwide to find new and bigger ideas for brand Coke that will work in multiple markets,” said Brooks, adding that single iconic spots could “supplement local work.”

Sources estimate that Coke will spend about $300 million globally on the flagship brand this year.