Dr. Pepper Snapple Group cuts ties with Access

The beverage group is moving on from the Ketchum subsidiary this summer.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

PLANO, TEXAS: Dr. Pepper Snapple Group is cutting ties with Access Brand Communications, ending the long-running relationship between the beverage group and Ketchum and its subsidiary.

The agency is wrapping up projects for Mott’s Apple Juice and Clamato, with all work set to cease by the end of this summer, said Evelyn Sprigg, consumer and lifestyle lead at Access.

Access Brand Communications, formed in 2016 via the merger of Access and Emanate, took over the account for Ketchum a couple of years ago. A source familiar with the matter said Ketchum Sports & Entertainment is still engaged for Dr. Pepper Snapple Group’s college football efforts.

"[Dr. Pepper Snapple Group has] been lovely; they’re a very small client [with] the work we’ve done for the past couple years," Sprigg said. "It’s been a very small-scale engagement."

In the interim, the work Access performed will be taken up by the Richards Group, a branding and ad agency based in Dallas, according to a source familiar with the matter. Edelman handles corporate communications.

An Edelman spokesperson declined to comment, saying, "We don’t discuss the nature or terms of our client relationships."

Richards Group representatives weren’t immediately available for comment.

When Access worked with Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, it operated within an integrated team that included Richards and Deutsch. However, with Keurig Green Mountain planning to acquire the company for $18.7 billion, its leadership is looking at agency partners across the board, a source said. The deal, which would form an entity positioned to bring in $11 billion in yearly revenue, is expected to be finalized this quarter.

Chris Barnes, director of corporate communications at Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, declined to comment. Keurig wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Ketchum has worked with Dr. Pepper and its parent company at least as far back as 2008.

"We’ve had a nice relationship over the last couple of years," Sprigg said. "It was always project-based. We wish them lots of luck as they take on new opportunities with Keurig and as we continue to finish out the projects we’re working on."

Susan Butenhoff, founder and CEO of Access, stepped down in February. Her duties were divided among New York GM Bob Osmond and partner and president Matthew Afflixio.

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