Coca-Cola has appointed Wieden & Kennedy to handle its £30m ($56m) Diet Coke account in the US. It is unclear whether a pitch was held for the business or if incumbent Draft FCB was invited to repitch.
The agency is already the global agency of record for the soft drinks brand.
It is understood that the move will signal a change in strategy for the low-calorie drink and a new creative direction. It is thought the changes follow falling sales: for the first nine months of 2006, the brand’s volume in US grocery, "drug" chains, convenience stores, petrol stations and mass merchants excluding Wal-Mart fell 3%, according to Beverage Digest.
Coke says Draft FCB will remain a roster agency and will roll out a print campaign for Diet Coke in January and February. Draft FCB group has held the account in America since 2001.
W&K, which is already Coke’s global agency of record, will launch new TV spots for Diet Coke in the first quarter of next year.
It is not thought the appointment will affect local agencies working on the brand at this stage.
In the UK, Diet Coke is bringing back the Diet Coke Hunk as part of advertising plans for next year. The campaign is being developed by Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest (VCCP), which handles the UK Diet Coke account.