Coke creates new US marketing role

NEW YORK - Coca-Cola has created a new senior role, chief marketing officer, in the face of flagging cola sales and the onslaught of new products from rival soft-drink makers.

The position, which covers Coca-Cola's US business, will be taken by Chris Lowe, formerly senior vice-president of global marketing strategy. He will report to Jeffrey Dunn, North American beverage chief.

Lowe has previously held various marketing roles at Coke and had headed the company's operations in Central America and the Caribbean. He will now be responsible for marketing all of its brands in the US.

Coca-Cola's advertising strategy has not been as effective over the last two years as the company could perhaps have hoped and, during the period, sales of its leading brand, Coca-Cola Classic, have fallen by 2%. It is attempting to combat falling sales partly by introducing new variants such as Vanilla Coke and Diet Coke with lemon.

Its archrival, PepsiCo, has countered with the announcement it is to launch Pepsi Blue, a blue-coloured berry fusion drink.

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