Coca-Cola is understood to have appointed WWAV Rapp Collins to handle a new direct marketing campaign.
Coke is understood to have compiled consumer data for such a campaign during its sponsorship of the Euro 96 football tournament and is known to have been building its football database since the 1994 World Cup.
The situation mirrors that of Unilever’s appointment of direct marketing agency Brann last year, which led to the production of a number of magazines targeting different consumer groups.
This, in turn, mirrored the strategy pursued by Heinz in 1994 whereby the company switched its equivalent above-the-line product spend to a below-the-line campaign through WWAV. It now mails out a voucher-filled magazine called Heinz At Home, while also running an extensive above-the-line campaign through Bates Dorland.
Coke refuses to confirm the appointment.
Coke is also launching a worldwide ad push featuring 16 new executions and is also understood to be increasing its ad spend in the UK, Mexico, Japan and Argentina.
However, the UK division of Coke says advertising spend is likely to rise in line with usual yearly increases.
The ads will retain the “Always Coca-Cola” strapline which has been used for the past four years. All bar one of the ads, several of which roll out in the US later this month, are through Los Angeles agency Edge Creative, formerly CAA, the vehicle of media mogul Mike Ovitz. The exception, entitled “Motel”, is by Leo Burnett of Chicago.
This follows the pattern set since 1992 whereby Coke has used a large roster of agencies around the world, each producing ads which may or may not be used in a single market, depending on local demand and conditions.