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Diet Dr Pepper Shifts to Deutsch

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Interpublic Group's Deutsch has expanded its relationship with Dr Pepper Snapple Group, adding creative chores for the Diet Dr Pepper brand, the beverage marketer confirmed today.

Diet Dr Pepper, backed by about $15-20 million in annual U.S. ad spending (not including online efforts), per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, had been handled by WPP Group's Y&R in San Francisco.

Y&R, however, keeps sibling brands such as 7UP, Canada Dry, A&W and Sunkist, while adding creative duties for the diet versions of at least the latter three beverages.

New York boutique Laird + Partners continues to handle Mott's.

The Diet Dr Pepper work shifts to Deutsch's office in Marina del Rey, Calif. The shop earlier this year added two other key brands: Dr Pepper (which spends $35 million annually on ads) and Snapple ($25 million).

"This is a move that makes sense for a number of reasons, but chief among them are better focus, alignment and efficiency," said Jim Trebilcock, client evp, marketing, in a statement. "We're very pleased with the work Deutsch has done since we brought them on board, and we're looking forward to their contributions to the continued momentum of Diet Dr Pepper.

" Y&R already has a long and successful track record on our business, and this realignment will channel their ideas, talents and energies toward growing key pieces of our flavor portfolio, such as 7UP, Sunkist and A&W."

This story updates an earlier item with the news that Y&R added diet versions of several client brands.