Britvic to revamp Freekee Soda

Britvic Soft Drinks’ faltering Freekee Soda brand is to be relaunched as Tango Strange Soda and will have its price slashed.

The name change is ostensibly being introduced due to a legal challenge from a foreign company. Britvic will not confirm the identity of the challenger but it is believed to have come from a Spanish manufacturer of a liquid candy called Freekee Drops.

Britvic is not going to fight the challenge and is taking the opportunity to rebrand Freekee Soda under the Tango banner. Britvic hopes the product, launched in February, will benefit from the company’s recent investment in Tango and subsequent uplift in sales.

Industry observers have criticised Freekee Soda’s “acquired taste” and “confusing proposition”. A number of retailers have been reviewing their commitment to the product (MW June 26).

Tango Strange Soda will have an introductory price of 49p for the relaunch, which will later increase to 55p and &£1.89 for a four-pack. Insiders had criticised the product’s premium launch price of 62p.

Britvic earmarked &£6.2m for the Freekee Soda launch and some of this money has been spent on campaigns developed by Tango’s advertising agency Clemmow Hornby Inge.

Category director Andrew Marsden says that more money will be made available for marketing. A “name change” campaign will launch later this week, followed by a Tango-style advertising campaign in October.

This is the second name change for the Britvic product. It was originally to have been called Freekin’ Soda until the company realised “freekin” is often a substitute for swearing (MW January 16).

Ironically, Freekee Drops has also had image problems due to their being syringe-shaped. Imports have been banned in Scotland.

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