Keurig Dr Pepper Selects Initiative as Media Agency of Record for U.S. and Canada

Spark Foundry was incumbent on the business

Keurig Green Mountain acquired Dr Pepper Snapple Group in mid-2018. Getty Images

Recently merged Keurig Dr Pepper has selected Initiative as media agency of record for the U.S. and Canada, sources with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed to Adweek.

It marks a significant expansion of the IPG Mediabrands agency’s relationship with the company that has been AOR for Dr Pepper Snapple Group since 2008.

Initiative declined to comment. A Keurig representative has yet to respond to emails and phone calls.

Keurig, formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters whose primary product was a coffee-pod brewing system, acquired Dr Pepper Snapple Group last year for an estimated $19 billion. The two companies then merged. Keurig Green Mountain was itself acquired by private equity firm JAB Holdings in 2016.

The company formerly worked with Publicis Groupe’s Mediavest, which won the account following a 2015 review. Its account moved to Spark Foundry after a 2016 reorganization of the Mediavest network that created Starcom. Since Dr Pepper Snapple Group already worked with Initiative, this is something of an unusual move in that the acquirer did not consolidate with the incumbent agency.

After this story ran, a Spark Foundry representative confirmed that the agency did not pitch and there was no formal review for the business.

The appointment follows news earlier this week that Nintendo had named Initiative as its U.S. media agency of record. Last month, UPS also sent planning and buying work to Initiative without a review in the same consolidation move that saw The Martin Agency assume lead creative status on that business.

Havas won Keurig’s creative agency of record review in 2013. Independent agency The Richards Group has produced recent campaigns for Dr Pepper.

According to the latest estimates from Kantar Media, the combined Keurig Dr Pepper Snapple Group spent just under $280 million on paid media for 2017 and $180 million during the first nine months of 2018, with the Keurig division representing a considerably smaller portion of that total. The latter number marked a small decline from the same period the previous year.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.
@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.