Schweppes Sets Consolidation

Cadbury Schweppes heard pitches from three agencies last week in a global consolidation of its Schweppes ginger ale and mixers business. At stake is an ad budget pushed to $30 million, per the client’s plan for worldwide expansion.
Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, which handles domestic chores on the account, is among the contenders, along with Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, whose London arm produces Schweppes work in the U.K. The third participant, Young & Rubicam, New York, handles the client’s Dr. Pepper brand globally and 7-Up in the U.S.
Cadbury spent roughly $20 million on Schweppes ads last year, some $5 million of that in the U.S. The account consolidation and extra spending will pave the way for a more unified look on packaging and in-store materials and, the client hopes, global expansion, said a source.
FCB may have an edge in the shootout as it has served up a consistent stream of ads laced with wry humor, sources said. Its latest work plays up the “Schhh” sound in the soft drink’s name, as well as the noise a can of soda makes when it is opened.
Schweppes, with strong roots in the U.K. and Europe, is one of three Cadbury brands considered by the client to have global potential. The other two are the flagship Dr. Pepper and orange-flavored Crush lines. Dr. Pepper, however, has had limited success overseas.
A client representative confirmed the review and participating shops. The pitches, covering TV, radio and print ads, were to include development of a new tagline, with presentations expected to conclude last week. A Schweppes executive from London is conducting the review with an international sales team from Dallas, Australia and Latin America.
Schweppes and sibling Canada Dry controlled 60 percent of the U.S. ginger ale market through Sept. 28, per Information Resources.