Coca-Cola names WPP as Global Marketing Network Partner
Posted on 2021 Nov,09

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WPP has been named Coca-Cola's global marketing network partner, edging out Publicis Group and IPG in a pitch. 

Coca-Cola confirmed on Monday that WPP will become a “global marketing network partner” operating under a custom unit called OpenX. 

In a press release, Coca-Cola described its relationship with WPP as “unprecedented” in its breadth and depth, and “unprecedented” for the industry “given its geographical size and scope.” 

The relationship will take effect immediately.

Manolo Arroyo, Coca-Cola’s Chief Global Marketing Officer, said in the company press statement. “We are pleased to partner with WPP to accelerate marketing transformation.”

He added: “I was impressed with WPP’s ability to balance what it needs to provide an integrated consumer experience on a global scale with the agility, speed, and data-driven insights needed to win locally. WPP brings creative excellence and unmatched marketing capabilities globally that no other network can deploy. ”

Mark Reed, CEO of WPP, said: “We have been appointed as a global marketing network partner for The Coca-Cola Company to catalyze its transformation and growth and create a connected consumer experience,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP. “This partnership complements The Coca-Cola Company’s globally networked organization by integrating our capabilities across content, media, data, production and technology and operating locally and globally.”

Dentsu has been selected as a “complementary media partner” by Coca-Cola and will be responsible to promote media in specific areas with expertise. Sources told Campaign US that these markets are Japan and South Korea.

This loss is a blow to IPG, which owned about 30% of Coca-Cola’s business, including the entire US media purchase account, and is worth about $ 400 million. IPG’s UM acquired the account in 2015.

This win is also a big hold for holding companies, as WPP has so far owned about 30% of Coke accounts worldwide. Publicis, who was in the final shootout of the account but was not a major incumbent, is understood to continue to work on several projects for the brand.

The review spanned more than 200 countries and included Coca-Cola’s creative, media, martech, production control, shoppers, and hands-on marketing businesses.

The commercial details of the appointment haven't been revealed but Coca-Cola is considered to be one of the biggest advertising accounts in the world. The Company spent $2.78 billion on advertising in 2020, down from $4.25 billion in 2019 and $4.11 billion in 2018, according to its annual reports, while in recent years, company sales have decreased, sliding from $44.3 billion in 2015 to $33 billion in 2020.