Pepsi chief urges brands to make a difference

The soft drinks industry can make a difference to the diets of the population if it reworks its marketing to promote the issue, according to a leading Pepsi executive.

Speaking to the UK soft drinks industry conference in London today (13 May), Garrett Quigley, general manager of Pepsi UK and Ireland, said brands must lead the way in encouraging consumers to switch to no-sugar alternatives or healthier alternatives.

“Widespread media attention is on improving the diet of the population, and the pressure is on brands to reinforce this through their marketing and advertising efforts,” he said.

Quigley said PepsiCo had made “huge strides” in this, with the company’s “Performance with Purpose” vision helping it enforce a pledge to reduce salts, sugars and saturated fats across its portfolio. This has also been reflected in the company’s recently published health report.

Part of this has involved adapting its marketing efforts to reflect these goals.

Quigley said: “We have pledged that all our ads will focus on no-sugar or natural parts of our portfolio from this year. In the UK, we haven’t advertised [normal] Pepsi since 2006.”

“We are also leveraging our celebrity partners to promote other initiatives in non-branded ways, such as endorsing breakfast clubs or taking part in the Change4Life push.”

He also cited the company’s move to offer bigger sizes of its sugar-free on-the-go variants as a “significant step to achieving our goals.”

Quigley says the aim of this is to “use its brand leverage to help consumers change their choices and to drive change for the better.” He adds “You can hold us to account for that.”

Earlier, Zenith International researchers had revealed that figures for 2009 soft drink consumption showed carbonates was the only category to outperform the market in the last year.

Victoria Milne, senior analyst at Zenith International, says: “There is a move towards the middle ground of healthy refreshment drinks for the health-conscious and naturally minded consumer.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here