After 48 Years, Brand Pepsi Drops BBDO

BBDO, New York, has lost the Pepsi brand account after 48 years.

TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa Del Ray, Calif., now serves as lead communications agency for the Pepsi trademark in the U.S., including Diet Pepsi. The Arnell Group, New York, handles brand identity and packaging innovation for Pepsi and other brands.

From Michael Jackson’s hair catching fire during the filming of one spot to the Pepsi Challenge, BBDO’s relationship with Pepsi-Cola has been a historic one. However, PepsiCo made no secret of its plans to shake up the brand following years of sales declines.

“We decided to appoint TBWA\Chiat\Day to refresh Pepsi’s communications across multiple consumer touch points and to reinvigorate Pepsi’s legacy of leading-edge advertising,” said Dave Burwick, CMO, PepsiCo North America Beverages, in a statement. “This is fully complementary with our ongoing relationship with Arnell who has created the new Pepsi identity and packaging and is responsible for the ongoing design and brand identity development.”

Major media spending in the U.S. on Pepsi and Diet Pepsi exceeded $90 million last year, including about $60 million on Pepsi alone, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Those figures, however, do not account for Internet spending.
TBWA\C\D took over creative responsibility for Gatorade, a PepsiCo brand, earlier this year, after it had been handled by Element 79 since that agency’s creation in 2001. The Arnell Group also was behind the successful relaunch of SoBe Lifewater. It picked up Tropicana earlier this year as well.

BBDO will continue to handle other Pepsi brands, according to Burwick, including Pepsi Max, Mountain Dew, AMP Energy and the North American Coffee Partnership (with Starbucks). BBDO also will continue to handle the Pepsi brand, and others, outside the U.S.