Britvic puts UK drinks brands out to tender

Pepsi and Tango are up for grabs, as Britvic Softdrinks puts its entire UK consumer PR for carbonated soft drinks out to pitch.

Pepsi and Tango are up for grabs, as Britvic Softdrinks puts its entire UK consumer PR for carbonated soft drinks out to pitch.

Incumbent agencies Freud Communications (for Pepsi), and Henry's House (for Tango) are both repitching for the work.

The brief also covers lemonade brand R Whites and ginger beer brand Idris, neither of which has a retained agency. Britvic plans to hear pitches from other agencies, but it is not thought a shortlist has been drawn up at this stage.

The repitch does not affect Freud Communications' UK corporate or international corporate and consumer PR for Pepsi Cola UK. Freud has worked on the brand for seven years, and famously handled PR for the switch to blue packaging in 1996, when it painted a Concorde blue.

Britvic owns the rights to the Pepsi name in the UK.

Susan Turner, Britvic corporate communications manager, said the reason for the change in PR arrangements was to centralise PR across its carbonated drinks brands.

However, with rumours that Britvic may be up for sale - and PepsiCo tipped as a potential buyer - a sceptic might speculate that the decision to slim-down the agency roster is part of a programme to make the company as attractive as possible to potential buyers.

Bass is a major shareholder in Britvic. It is widely speculated that Bass, which recently sold its beer brands to Interbrew, will now leave the drinks business and focus on hotels, pubs and restaurants.

The PR companies will be pitching to execs from both Britvic and Pepsi marketing departments.

Neither Henry's House nor Freud Communications wished to comment as PR Week went to press. Britvic's relationships with the Red Consultancy and Hill and Knowlton are not affected.



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