Coke Revises Status Of Berlin, Cameron and Wieden

NEW YORK–The Coca-Cola Co. has revised the status of Berlin/Cameron & Partners and Wieden + Kennedy, a client representative confirmed. According to an internal memo earlier this week from chief marketing officer Steve Jones, the independent agencies in New York and Portland, Ore., respectively, were removed from the Coke roster.

However, late Friday, the client said that while it is retaining those two shops, they are handling different brands.

The representative has confirmed that though Berlin/Cameron is indeed losing the Dasani account, it is retaining Mello Yello and Mr. Pibb and gaining Minute Maid sodas. Wieden + Kennedy, which has lost Diet Coke, Barq’s and Powerade, is gaining KMX.

A client representative declined further comment.

In an internal memo issued earlier this week to Coke marketing executives, Jones said that the Interpublic Group and WPP have been selected as worldwide partners for the Atlanta-based beverage company. He cited the holding companies’ “worldwide strategic capability, strong infrastructure” and “global reach in 200 countries” as the reason for the consolidation of brands.

The only other exceptions are that Dentsu will continue on all company business in Japan and Publicis will continue to handle Coke Light in Europe.

IPG agencies still reap the greatest reward in the realignment, which is as follows: McCann-Erickson continues on Coke Classic and picksup Cherry Coke, from Cliff Freeman and Partners. Lowe Lintas & Partners gains Diet Coke, Diet Coke with Lemon (a new product), Coke Light in Latin America and all brands under the new Coke-Nestle alliance known as Beverage Partners Worldwide,
which includes all coffees and teas.

IPG’s Foote, Cone & Belding takes on Powerade, a U.S. brand, and the Aquarius sports drink brand in Europe; Minute Maid, Simply Orange, Hi-C, Fruitopia, and Dasani. The holding company’s Campbell Mithun agency in Minneapolis gets Fresca and Citra.

Barq’s is going to Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis.

WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather will handle Sprite and Diet Sprite (they had been at Lowe) as well as Fanta, which had multiple agencies.

The realignment had been expected for several weeks [Adweek Online, Sept. 27], but some agencies had not been told their fate until this week. Coke does not expect to issue an official announcement.

Agencies that are no longer on the Coke roster as a result of the moves include D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, and Cliff Freeman and Partners.

Additionally, sources said Coke laid off about 80 staffers on Thursday, Oct. 11, as part of a restructuring of its North America and Coke Corp. marketing departments.