Coca-Cola restructures in healthy drinks focus

LONDON - Coca-Cola has rejigged its marketing department to focus on health, wellness and performance drinks.

The struggling soft-drinks giant has created a dedicated Health and Wellness arm, which will be led by marketing manager Sarah Marsh, who oversaw this year's UK launch of Minute Maid.

The division will house the firm's healthier options, which include Minute Maid and Oasis.

Coca-Cola brands have suffered from ongoing consumer concerns about obesity and the effect high-sugar fizzy drinks have on health.

Bobby Brittain, who has been a brand director of the flagship Coca-Cola brand, will run a Performance division that will house sports drink Powerade and Powerade Aqua+, the sports water drink that launched this summer.

A third division, Carbonated Soft Drinks, will be headed by Justin Billingsley, who was brand director for Coca-Cola and Diet Coke.

Michael Dick, previously commercial manager of the advertising division, will take up the new role of head of integrated marketing communications, aligning Coca- Cola's activity across media. He will report to marketing chief Catherine Sleight.

A spokeswoman for the firm said the reorganisation is intended to give greater emphasis to new product development; she added that Coca-Cola had doubled the number of products and brands it produces in the UK over the past 10 years.

Coca-Cola is set to launch its Christmas TV campaign for Coke and Diet Coke on Thursday. The activity will feature the "White Christmas" execution that debuted in 2004.

The campaign will embrace radio for the first time, with ads featuring the "Holidays are coming" theme in different music styles.

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