- Young & Rubicam has beaten Saatchi & Saatchi in the final head-to-head pitch for Schweppes' £20 million ($33 million) global branding account.
Cadbury Schweppes, which called the pitch in April, intends to develop a strong global brand image for Schweppes, and has recently repackaged its mixers as a prelude to a world-wide advertising push.
The brand's image has virtually no consistency across different countries. In the UK it is almost always associated with tonic water, whereas in Germany, its name is synonymous with bitter lemon.
A new campaign is expected to run in the next couple of months. Creative work is already at an advanced stage because ideas are thought to have been thoroughly researched in the final stages of the pitch.
Y&R and Saatchis, which are both Cadbury Schweppes roster agencies, have travelled back and forth to Schweppes' New York headquarters frequently during the four months that the pitch has been taking place.
Saatchis were still waiting to hear the news officially as Campaign went to press, and Y&R was unable to confirm the win. However, Suzanne Sharpe, the account managing director who led the pitch at Y&R Europe, commented: "It's true that we are expecting an announcement towards the end of this week, but until that happens we can make no comment except that obviously we would love the chance to help this wonderful brand grow worldwide."
In March, Schweppes kicked off a £16 million global ad campaign, created by Saatchis, which positioned the brand as "the adult soft drink of choice." The commercials feature a secret serviceman who lowers his body temperature by drinking ice-cold Schweppes, rendering him undetectable by the mercenaries who are pursuing him with heat-sensing equipment.
Saatchis also created the epic "diamond mine" ad last year, which was directed by Tarsem and attempted to throw off Schweppes old-fashioned image using the line "think Schweppes". Y&R won the Dr Pepper brand from Saatchis in September 1996.
The two agencies beat off initial competition from agencies thought to include another roster network, FCB, and at least one non-roster contender.
Media remains with Zenith in the UK. Global media arrangements are effected by local bottlers and distributors, but the winning agency is likely to work on media planning in some markets.