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The Coca-Cola Company Names WPP as Global Marketing Network Partner; Also Appoints Complementary Media Partner

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The Coca-Cola Company today named WPP as Global Marketing Network Partner to play a key role in executing a new marketing model that is built to drive long-term growth for the entire company’s portfolio of brands across more than 200 countries and territories.

Coca-Cola’s new, integrated agency model is part of an aggressive agenda to transform and modernize marketing and innovation as key drivers of the company’s profitable growth. “Consumers respond to an entire experience – they don’t separate the message from the medium – and that’s why we’ve designed an agency model to be truly consumer-centric and silo-free,” said Manolo Arroyo, global chief marketing officer for The Coca-Cola Company. “This model is about seamless integration of the power of big, bold ideas and creativity within experiences, amplified by media and data. It will enable us to create end-to-end experiences that are grounded in data-rich insights and optimized real-time, at scale, as we learn from consumers.”

The new agency model has four components:

  1. A Global Marketing Network Partner to manage end-to-end creative, media, data and marketing technology, across the whole portfolio.
  2. A Complementary Media Partner to bring differentiated capabilities in select markets.
  3. A Strategic Roster of approved agencies to provide access to the best creative minds, regardless of their location or affiliation.
  4. A common data and technology platform that connects marketing teams of five global categories, nine operating units, Global Ventures and Platform Services to the Global Marketing Network Partner, Complementary Media Partner and Strategic Roster.

Global Marketing Network Partner

OpenX, the bespoke WPP team, will provide end-to-end capabilities across creative, media and data to serve as the Global Marketing Network Partner for Coca-Cola’s brands. The breadth and depth of the partnership is unprecedented for Coca-Cola and is expected to be a catalyst in the transformation of marketing effectiveness and efficiency. It is also unprecedented for the industry, given its scale and geographical reach, including more than 200 countries and territories; the company’s five-category beverage portfolio; and Global Ventures, including innocent and Costa.

“As we designed our new marketing operating model, it became increasingly clear that simplicity was critical to successfully operating a vast geographical and diversified business network, which also includes our bottling system,” Arroyo said. “I am delighted to be partnering with WPP as we accelerate our marketing transformation. We were impressed by WPP’s ability to balance what it takes to deliver integrated consumer experiences at a global scale with the agility, speed and data-driven insights that are required to win locally. WPP will bring creative excellence and unparalleled marketing capabilities at a global scale that no other network can deploy.”

“We are delighted to be appointed as The Coca-Cola Company’s Global Marketing Network Partner, a catalyst for its transformation and growth, and to bring the outstanding creativity, data-rich insights and media expertise needed to create connected consumer experiences,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP. “This partnership, integrating our capabilities across content, media, data, production and technology, operating locally and globally, will complement The Coca-Cola Company’s globally networked organization. It’s unparalleled in our industry in terms of breadth and depth of capabilities, and reflects WPP’s scale and reach around the world. I’d like to thank Manolo Arroyo and his teams in taking this bold step with WPP. Our success in the industry’s biggest-ever pitch is testament to the talent and hard work of hundreds of people across WPP and our agencies, and to the strength of our simple, integrated offer to clients.”

Complementary Media Partner

The company also announced that Dentsu has been named Complementary Media Partner in selected markets where they bring distinctive strengths.

“Dentsu is an incredible agency that combines rich human insights with the leading-edge analytics and technology capabilities required to design and execute connected consumer experiences,” Arroyo said. “They are the perfect complementary partner for us, bringing distinctive strengths in some of our highest priority areas.”

Strategic Roster

Coca-Cola will also ensure it has access to the world’s best creators through the development of an open-source creative model. “We know brilliant creative ideas come from anywhere, and we will retain that flexibility,” Arroyo said.

Publicis Groupe and IPG both performed very strongly during the review process, demonstrating leading-edge capabilities, innovative ideas and impressive talent. Various agencies from both networks have been selected for Coca-Cola’s Strategic Roster and will play key roles in the open-source model, which is expected to account for one-third of all marketing work.

“I want to particularly recognize the work performed by the other finalist, Publicis Groupe. Publicis demonstrated being a phenomenal agency with a bold vision that challenged our thinking, making it one of our most challenging business decisions we have confronted, given its world-class capabilities,” Arroyo said. “Agencies like Publicis and Leo Burnett blend creativity with data and technology, and I’m excited to work with them as part of our strategic roster.”

“IPG has consistently demonstrated a passion for Coca-Cola brands and delivered some of our most important work around the world,” Arroyo said. “Their agencies like McCann and Mercado will continue to be key partners for the company.”

Implementation of the new marketing model will begin immediately. PwC advised on the Global Marketing Network Partner and Strategic Roster reviews, and MediaSense was the consultant on the Complementary Media Partner review.

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is a total beverage company with products sold in more than 200 countries and territories. Our company’s purpose is to refresh the world and make a difference. We sell multiple billion-dollar brands across several beverage categories worldwide. Our portfolio of sparkling soft drink brands includes Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta. Our hydration, sports, coffee and tea brands include Dasani, smartwater, vitaminwater, Topo Chico, Powerade, Costa, Georgia, Gold Peak, Honest and Ayataka. Our nutrition, juice, dairy and plant-based beverage brands include Minute Maid, Simply, innocent, Del Valle, fairlife and AdeS. We’re constantly transforming our portfolio, from reducing sugar in our drinks to bringing innovative new products to market. We seek to positively impact people’s lives, communities and the planet through water replenishment, packaging recycling, sustainable sourcing practices and carbon emissions reductions across our value chain. Together with our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people, helping bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide. Learn more at www.coca-colacompany.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Contact information

Media: Scott Leith, sleith@coca-cola.com

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