CAA Rumored To Raid Diet Coke

NEW YORK – Not content with its assignment to produce ads for Coke Classic, Creative Artists Agency is launching a raid on the $80-million Diet Coke account at Lintas:N.Y., sources said last week.
West Coast sources said that the Hollywood-based talent agency has pitched ideas on the Diet Coke business and may even have sat in on some client meetings in Atlanta.
‘Mike Ovitz has offered his ‘help’ on the business,’ said one source. ‘(CAA’s) foot is not in the door yet, but they’re trying.’
Several Lintas staffers said that they had no knowledge of CAA’s attempt to move in on the Diet Coke account. Said one executive, ‘I’m not aware of anything, but the speculation doesn’t surprise me.’
CAA probably saw its opportunity to strike in the mixed reviews of Lintas’ ‘Taste It All’ effort, which broke in late December. Although Coca-Cola bottlers have reported strong sales gains for January, the reviews down in Atlanta are said to be mixed. Several weeks before the campaign broke, Coca-Cola USA president M. Douglas Ivester, who was attending a Tab Clear press conference, denied speculation that CAA was beginning to move in on the brand.
Meanwhile, Lintas is making use of a planned three-week hiatus in the Diet Coke media schedule to modify ‘Taste It All.’ Industry sources point out that re-edits are nothing new on Madison Avenue, but Lintas has been working at full throttle – including weekends – to prepare what one source said was approximately 15 new executions of the ‘Taste It All’ effort.
As Lintas tinkers with its new campaign, sister agency McCann-Erickson recently picked up new assignments on the upcoming Coke Classic campaign.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)