Coke Pulls Back Dasani, Powerade from FCB

NEW YORK — Coca-Cola is pulling its $25 million Dasani water and estimated $60 million Powerade sports drink accounts back from Foote, Cone & Belding until the ad agency’s litigation with PepsiCo has been resolved, a Coke representative confirmed.

The brands will go back to their previous respective agencies: Berlin Cameron & Partners in New York and Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore.

Last month, Coke realigned its brands, consolidating most of them at agencies owned by Interpublic Group, including FCB and WPP Group. FCB, whose Chicago office had handled Pepsi’s Aquafina water and Gatorade sports drink, was fired by the Purchase, N.Y.-based client in September because of a perceived conflict with Coke. FCB’s parent, IPG, is creative partner on Coke Classic.

After consolidating its business at Omnicom shops, PepsiCo filed a restraining order in Chicago courts to prevent four FCB Chicago employees who had worked on Aquafina and Gatorade from working on Coke’s Dasani and Powerade. But the court also ruled that FCB could proceed in working on the Coke brands.

“We will continue to work with the incumbent agencies on Dasani and Powerade,” the Coke representative said of Berlin Cameron and Wieden. “Until such time as the legal issues are resolved [between FCB and Pepsi]. We will then reassess agency assignments.” He declined further comment.

Berlin Cameron also handles Coke’s Mello Yello Pibb, and Minute Maid sodas line. Wieden handles Coke’s KMS high-energy drink.

Executives at the agencies could not immediately be reached for comment.