Coke gears up for UK pitch after WS divorce

The Coca-Cola Company is on the verge of staging a pitch for its coveted UK account after splitting with Weber Shandwick.

The iconic soft drinks brand used WS on a global basis for 15 years, but recently parted ways following a spat in the US (PRWeek, 16 Feb).

The move leaves Coke without retained UK corporate and PA support, and bosses wasted no time to start hunting for a replacement.

PRWeek understands the process is at an early stage, with a shortlist yet to be drawn up. Sources within Coke suggested the company might create a roster rather than replace WS with a single agency.

A statement issued to PRWeek would only confirm that the company was ‘currently in a selection process'.

The pitch is being run out of the firm's UK office, but its Atlanta HQ is also bel­ieved to be staging pitches for several worldwide briefs.

A series of ‘brand marketing meetings' have been held in the US this week, with agencies pit­ching for WS's North America projects and local, regional and global briefs not held by the agency.

Coke uses Lexis PR and Burson-Marsteller for consumer and crisis projects in the UK.

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