OPINION: Roster review sees Coke walk the walk

'Coca-Cola. Enjoy' is the new-ish strapline for the world's number one brand, and enjoy is exactly what the trade press did as the scale of its UK review emerged.

'Coca-Cola. Enjoy' is the new-ish strapline for the world's number one brand, and enjoy is exactly what the trade press did as the scale of its UK review emerged.

A veritable feast of news stories is hatching. The company's media, held by Universal McCann, is coming under scrutiny as is the advertising for Schweppes and Dr Pepper. Both brands are held by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and, of all the Coca-Cola brands, they are the most likely to move to a new agency given Young & Rubicam's UK affiliation with Virgin Cola.

But also under review is the creative roster that includes Weiden & Kennedy for Diet Coke, Leagas Delaney for Fanta, Lowe Lintas for Sprite, Mother for Lilt, Publicis and Soul for Coca-Cola, and Leo Burnett for Five Alive. Although seeking an agency from off the roster will prove difficult given the amount of agencies already on the payroll, the company is doing just that.

When Douglas Daft, Coca-Cola's worldwide president, announced his intention to localise marketing at the beginning of the year at the same time as rolling out a new global campaign, it seemed he was saying one thing and doing another. This was confirmed when a pan-European pitch was called earlier in the summer.

However, he's now walking the walk. The UK marketing team has been given carte blanche and it's using it. The company is said to have contacted Soul when the agency's launch story ran on the front page of Campaign.

Coca-Cola's highly corporate eye had been caught by the freshness of the new agency's proposition.

All well and good, but managing such a massive roster is a lot of work for just one marketing department.

Although Coca-Cola is talking to new agencies, anything but a scaled-down roster would be a surprise result. Big corporations are moving away from giant rosters - just take a look at the BBC.

It follows, therefore, that some of the company's agencies should be getting very worried. If Coca-Cola is going to move more business into fewer shops, some of the smaller outfits might be ruled out.



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