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Coca-Cola seeks review of US media planning and buying business

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MUMBAI: The Atlanta-based cola major Coca-Cola will review its US media planning and buying business, with the goal of consolidating its business into one agency account.

The planning and buying business of Coca-Cola US is worth $301 million. Vice president of integrated communications at Coca-Cola David Raines is running the review. In India, Madison Media is the agency of record (AOR) for Coca-Cola India.

"As part of the recent integration of all our businesses, we will be looking at one firm to do communications planning, media execution and strategic analysis and media tracking for the entire beverage portfolio in the USA - soft drinks, juices," Coca-Cola spokesperson Mark Martin was quoted as saying.

Currently, media planning and buying accounts for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola have been divided between Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest and Interpublic Group of Co's Universal McCann. Starcom MediaVest Group's Starcom, Chicago, handles planning for Minute Maid Juices, while sibling MediaVest, New York, handles all other brand planning. Universal McCann handles buying for all the brands.

Martin said the two new players that have been invited to make presentations for the campaign in October are WPP Group's MindShare and Aegis Group's Carat along with the existing ones.

One hopes that Interpublic Group of Cos' Universal McCann and Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group, both New York, will be able to defend their respective buying and planning accounts.

Also, from India's point of view, there will be major complications if MindShare US bags the account and there is a re-alignment in India - because WPP Media in India handles Coca-Cola's ace rival Pepsi account.

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