HONG KONG: Coca-Cola has dropped Gavin Anderson as its corporate
agency in Hong Kong after 14 years, in favour of Shandwick.
An agency review carried out in December saw both agencies pitch for the
full-service account, which carries substantial fees.
It is understood Coca-Cola’s decision to drop Gavin Anderson was sparked
by a move into interactive marketing with the launch of a new
merchandise web site, cocacola.com, as a result of which, Coca-Cola
sought a more technology-focused agency.
The drinks giant uses a roster of agencies in the UK. Cohn and Wolfe and
Jackie Cooper jointly handle brand PR, while trade and corporate PR is
the responsibility of Clarion. The firm uses Shandwick for its
communications in Scotland.
The account covers product PR for the company’s range of carbonated soft
drinks, which include Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite. Coca-Cola
is the top-selling cola brand in Hong Kong and had the best-known brand
in China, according to a Gallup consumer survey conducted last year.
Gavin Anderson’s brief expanded during its 14-year tenure to include
internal communications, product promotion and issues management, which
will form the core of Shandwick’s brief.
Coca-Cola China reduced its marketing spend last year during a worldwide
product recall and the Asian recession. Account fees are understood to
have declined significantly as a result. Coca-Cola’s local bottling
plant operations, owned by Hong Kong holding company Swire Group, does
not have a PR agency.
Shandwick was unavailable for comment as PR Week went to press.