Pepsi Overseas Review Brewing Up a ‘Storm’

SAN FRANCISCO-The agency that wins Pepsi-Cola’s overseas non-cola business currently in review could also be in line for a significant new product assignment. Pepsi has asked the contenders to develop a speculative launch campaign for a new lemon-lime soft drink for the U.S., code-named “Storm,” sources said.
Agencies vying for the estimated $25-30 million account are: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, J. Walter Thompson in New York and Pepsi’s lead global agency, BBDO [Adweek, Aug. 25]. Sources said BBDO West, Los Angeles, which recently lost its main Apple Computer account, is heading the agency network’s efforts.
The account also involves developing ads for 7UP abroad as well as Mirinda, an orange-flavored drink, and possibly Aquafina, a bottled water brand, sources said.
Agency executives declined comment, as did Pepsi.
It is widely known, however, that Pepsi has been developing a new lemon-lime drink to compete against 7UP. While Pepsi owns 7UP overseas, Cadbury Schweppes owns the brand in the U.S. (Young & Rubicam in New York handles 7UP domestically). Pepsi also markets lemon-lime Slice but it is not a serious rival to 7UP, which has been struggling while Sprite has posted impressive gains.
David Lubars, president and executive creative director of BBDO West, declined to comment specifically on his role in the Pepsi review, but said he intended to “redeploy” the agency team that had worked on the recently reassigned Apple account. “We are ready to work on an array of new business,” he said.
The other participants also have ties to Pepsi. JWT handles some Pepsi business overseas and the Pepsi/Lipton Partnership in the U.S. Goodby oversees a portion of PepsiCo’s Pizza Hut account.
Ogilvy & Mather in New York, the incumbent on the overseas 7UP account, is not participating in the review.
-with Jane Irene Kelly and Angela Dawson