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Coca-Cola Adds Two New Agencies to Its Roster

October 8, 1993

NEW YORK (AP) _ In another move to spice up its advertising, the Coca-Cola Co. added two agencies with strong creative reputations to its roster - Fallon McElligott of Minneapolis and Wieden & Kennedy of Portland, Ore.

Fallon is the agency that has actors struggling to get into their pants in commercials for Lee jeans while Wieden is sneaker marketer Nike’s agency.

The company didn’t specify assignments for the two new agencies, saying only that they will handle ″special projects″ from Sergio Zyman, its chief marketing officer who recently returned to Coca-Cola after several years away.

Industry sources estimated Coca-Cola spent more than $200 million last year advertising Coca-Cola Classic, diet Coke and Sprite in the United States.

The Atlanta-based soft drink industry leader shook up the advertising world last year by hiring the Hollywood talent broker Creative Artists Agency to develop commercials.

Drawing on its connections with filmakers and others in the entertainment industry, the talent agency was credited with nearly all of the two dozen spots that made up this year ″Always Coca-Cola″ campaign.

McCann-Erickson Worldwide, which has been the agency for Coca-Cola’s flagship brand since 1955, created only two of the ads but remains the agency of record for the brand.

The ″Always″ ads helped lift Coca-Cola ahead of Pepsi-Cola Co. for the first time in five years in a recent consumer survey by the research company Video Storyboard Tests.

Coca-Cola announced last July that it had authorized Creative Artists Agency to produce another 30 commercials.

Earlier this week, Coca-Cola fired Lintas: New York, the agency that has worked on diet Coke ads since the brand’s introduction 11 years ago, and assigned the English-language portion of the job to The Lowe Group.

The agency came up with a new ″Taste it all″ theme for diet Coke that debuted earlier this year, but the advertiser soon soured on it. It pulled ther campaign off the air in the spring and was left without any diet Coke advertising during the summer, a big season for soft drinks.

The company has indicated repeatedly in recent months that it won’t be bound by custom in searching for the best creative ideas.

M. Douglas Ivester, executive vice president of Coca-Cola, said the addition of Fallon McElligott and Wieden & Kennedy to its roster of ad agencies ″reflect our goal to tap a variety of creative resources.″

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