Coke Pulls Back Brands From FCB, Pending Suit

NEW YORK—Coca-Cola pulled back its $25 million Dasani water account and the estimated $60 million Powerade sports drink business from Foote, Cone & Belding until the agency’s litigation with PepsiCo is resolved, a Coke representative confirmed. The brands will revert to their previous agencies, Berlin Cameron & Partners in New York and Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore., respectively. A Chicago court ruled last month that four FCB Chicago employees could not work on Dasani because they had previously worked on Pepsi’s Aquafina brand. However, the court ruling did not prevent other agency employees from working on the brand. A separate federal lawsuit from Pepsi-owned Quaker seeks to limit FCB’s ability to work on Coke’s Powerade because of the shop’s work for Gatorade. Pepsi in September consolidated its business at Omnicom agencies. FCB was fired in September by Purchase, N.Y.-based Pepsi because of a perceived conflict with Coke. FCB’s parent, Interpublic Group of Companies, is creative partner on Coke Classic. A hearing on Pepsi’s request for a preliminary injunction against FCB is set for Dec. 13 and 14 in Cook County Circuit Court. A status hearing on the federal lawsuit is set for this week in U.S. District Court.

Y&R Selected by Northwestern Memorial

CHICAGO—Northwestern Memorial Hospital awarded its estimated $3 million account to Young & Rubicam following a review, as expected [Adweek, Aug. 6]. A new campaign is expected to break early next year. The Chicago hospital’s last agency, Leo Burnett, did not participate in the review, which included two other undisclosed agencies.

Finish Line Cuts to 4

CHICAGO—Finish Line, a retailer of brand-name athletic footwear, apparel and accessories, has narrowed its review to four undisclosed agencies, sources said. The Indianapolis-based company will view spec spots for the estimated $10 million branding assignment and make a decision by mid-December, sources said. The company is looking at agencies outside Indiana. The retailer has previously worked with several agencies on a project basis.

Kellogg Taps African American Agency

CHICAGO—Kellogg has assigned its African American ad business to The Wimbley Group in Itasca, Ill. Burrell Communications in Chicago resigned the business in June to take work from General Mills. The Battle Creek, Mich., company’s lead general-market agency remains Leo Burnett in Chicago.

CCF Wins Minnesota Anti-Smoking Work

CHICAGO—The Minnesota Department of Health named Clarity Coverdale Fury the winner of its $6-7 million anti-smoking account. The Minneapolis agency beat out fellow finalist Gabriel deGrood Bendt for the business. Incumbent Campbell Mithun had been eliminated in an earlier round. CCF also handles a $3 million, adult-oriented anti-smoking effort for the Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco.