Coca-Cola Co. has decided to drop two of its four advertising agencies in Venezuela, and concentrate its $15 million ad budget with McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Leo Burnett Worldwide.
Having dropped J. Walter Thompson Co. and former Lintas agency RobertoEliaschev & Asociados, which had been handling the local products that Coca-Cola acquired in the deal with Cisneros Group, the company has now assigned all of its brands to Leo Burnett, with the exception of the Coca-Cola brand itself.
After many years, the leading soft drink is back with its McCann, although Coca-Cola Light stays with Burnett.
When the Cisneros Group dumped PepsiCo. and associated with Coca-Cola in themid-90s, Coca-Cola Co.'s world marketing director assigned the soft drink in Venezuela to Leo Burnett, not to McCann. The relaunch was considered vital, since Coke sales were far behind Pepsi's. Today Coke has 70% of the dark cola segment in Venezuela and leads all soft drinks with 35% of the category.
The deal Coca-Cola made with the Cisneros Group included the acquisition of a number of popular local brands including Chinotto soft drink and Hit fruit flavors. Later the company added other brands including Quatro.