Coke Unit Taps CM

Campbell Mithun is working on a project for Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid brand, its first work for the beverage com pany, confirmed shop president Les Mouser.

The Minneapolis shop is owned by the Interpublic Group, which in December was tapped to act as a “creative con sultant and idea generator” for Coca-Cola’s Coke Classic brand.

Sources said the project involves CM’s KidCom unit and is promotions-related.

CM’s work for the Houston-based brand is not expected to threaten Leo Burnett’s relationship with Minute Maid, sources said. The Chi cago agency has handled the brand since 1996. Its current advertising carries the tagline, “Squeeze the day.”

Nonetheless, an assignment from one of the world’s major marketers is considered a coup for the shop, as it may represent a chance to take on more business at Coca-Cola.

Minute Maid and Coca-Cola officials did not return calls seeking comment. Burnett off icials said they were unaware that CM was working on the brand.

In a fourth-quarter 2000 earnings statement issued last week, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola executives said they expected Minute Maid to “sharpen its focus on driving health and wellness beverages” for the company.

One report on financial Web site said Coca-Cola chairman Douglas Daft expected noncarbonated drinks to account for 25 percent of the company’s sales. Those drinks currently only account for about 10 percent of sales.