Agencies vie for $300m Coca-Cola media

Coca-Cola has called a review of its $300 million US media planning and buying business and has drawn up a shortlist of four agencies to pitch for the business.

Coca-Cola is aiming to consolidate the account into one agency. The soft drinks giant has invited the incumbent agencies - Interpublic Group's Universal McCann and Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest - to pitch for the business against the WPP Group's MindShare and the Aegis-owned Carat.

In the US, Universal McCann has handled the buying for Coca-Cola for more than 20 years. Starcom MediaVest handles the media planning account.

"We are looking for one company to handle our media planning and execution of our entire portfolio of soft drinks and juices," Mart Martin, a Coca-Cola spokesman, said.

A decision is expected by late October.

A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola GB said she was unaware of the move by the US operation and so could not comment on whether the review was likely to extend to the UK market.

The review could be more bad news for the troubled IPG, which earlier this year suffered a blow on the creative front when Coca-Cola moved its Classic Coke brand to WPP's Berlin Cameron/Red Cell in New York.

McCann-Erickson in the UK has recently had difficulty getting creative work approved by Coca-Cola. Earlier this month, Coke announced it would air a TV ad in the UK that was originally broadcast in Spain and was created by McCann-Erickson Madrid.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).