CM Gets Work From Coke Unit

Campbell Mithun is working on a project for Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid brand, its first work for the beverage company, an agency executive confirmed.

Les Mouser, president of the Minneapolis agency, said the agency has been contracted by Houston-based Minute Maid, but declined to give further details on the project.

Sources said the project involved the agency’s KidCom unit and is promotions-related.

CM’s project for the brand is not expected to threaten Leo Burnett’s relationship with Minute Maid, sources said. The Chicago agency has handled the brand since 1996. It’s advertising carries the tagline, “Squeeze the day.” Nonetheless, an assignment from one of the world’s major marketers is considered a coup for the shop, as it possibly represents a foot in the door.

Minute Maid and Coca-Cola officials did not return phone calls to discuss its relationship with CM. Leo Burnett officials said they were unaware that CM was working on the brand.

Campbell Mithun is owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies, which in December was tapped to act as a “creative consultant and idea generator” for Coca-Cola’s Coke Classic brand. It was unknown what role IPG or Minute-Maid parent Coca-Cola may have played in the CM assignment.

In a fourth-quarter 2000 earnings statement issued last week, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola executives said they expected Minute Maid to “sharpen its focus on driving health and wellness beverages” for the company. One report on MotleyFool.com said Coca-Cola chairman Douglas Daft expected non-carbonated drinks to account for 25 percent of the company’s sales. Those drinks only account for about 10 percent of sales.