UK agencies fail to crack Coca-Cola advertising brief

LONDON - Coca-Cola is to run existing US work in the UK following the failure of roster agencies McCann-Erickson and Mother to crack the latest brief for the Coke Classic brand.

The "real" campaign, which was produced by the WPP agency Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, was launched in the US in January this year. The decision to screen the campaign in the UK follows in the wake of the recent creative presentations from McCann and Mother.

It is unclear if the Berlin Cameron arrangement is a short-term solution. Mother or McCann could still handle Coke's main brand, Coke Classic, in the future.

A Coca-Cola spokeswoman denied that a decision had been made on either the pitch or whether Berlin Cameron/Red Cell's work would be shown in the UK.

The "real" campaign was a marked change in advertising style for Coke. The ads lacked the slick production and glamorous aesthetics that had characterised its previous campaigns, and it met with mixed reviews. One famous execution featured the Hollywood actress Penelope Cruz belching for the benefit of bemused onlookers.

On the strength of the "real" campaign, Berlin Cameron/Red Cell snatched the whole of the US creative account from McCann-Erickson New York, sparking rumours that Coca-Cola was preparing to distance itself from the troubled Interpublic network.

Coca-Cola UK approached Mother in January, looking for a fresh perspective on its core Coke Classic brand. Mother is currently the agency of record for the Coca-Cola brands Lilt, Dr Pepper, Oasis, Alive and selected products from the Schweppes range.

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