Pepsi Moves From BBDO to TBWA\C\D

NEW YORK PepsiCo is shifting lead U.S. creative duties on its flagship cola brand as well as Diet Pepsi from BBDO to TBWA\Chiat\Day, Pepsi said today.

Major media spending on the Pepsi and Diet Pepsi brands exceeded $90 million last year, including about $60 million on Pepsi alone, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The shift came after a review involving two Omnicom Group shops: TBWA\C\D in Playa del Rey, Calif., and BBDO here, which has handled the Pepsi brand since 1960, said sources. TBWA\C\D is also a Pepsi roster shop, handling creative duties on Gatorade.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work on one of the great brands in the world,” said TBWA worldwide CEO Tom Carroll. “It is impossible not to feel passionately about the direction the brand is evolving to.”

Final presentations took place in the past two weeks at Pepsi’s headquarters in Purchase, N.Y., according to sources.

Pepsi issued a statement confirming the shift. Pepsi also said that Omnicom’s Arnell in New York would now handle brand identity and packaging for Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew/Diet Mountain Dew and Sierra Mist/Diet Sierra Mist.

“We decided to appoint TBWA\Chiat\Day to refresh Pepsi’s communications across multiple consumer touch points and to reinvigorate Pepsi’s legacy of leading-edge advertising,” said Dave Burwick, chief marketing officer for PepsiCo North America Beverages, in a statement. “This is fully complementary with our ongoing relationship with Arnell who has created the new Pepsi identity and packaging and is responsible for the ongoing design and brand identity development.”

Media duties on the brands were not affected by the shift and remain at Omnicom’s OMD in New York.

BBDO will continue to handle other Pepsi brands, per Burwick’s statement, including Pepsi Max, Mountain Dew, AMP Energy and the North American Coffee Partnership (with Starbucks). BBDO also will continue to handle the Pepsi brand — and others — outside the U.S.

While Pepsi and subsidiaries such as Quaker and Frito-Lay have shifted business in the past, particularly among Omnicom shops, the move is significant given BBDO’s long tenure and storied history on the brand.

Through the years the agency has produced a bevy of memorable, star-studded TV spots that ran on television’s highest-rated program: the Super Bowl.