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Interpublic Group names new leader for Dr Pepper account

BY Jenna Duncan

LOS ANGELES True Agency independent marketing firm founder and former president/chief executive, Valencia Gayles, has been hired to head up marketing on Interpublic Group’s Deutsch/LA Dr Pepper account, the agency said.

Gayles joins Interpublic Group [based Marina del Rey, Calif.] as a senior vice president and group account director. She said in a statement that she is “focused on big ideas and business solutions. When I saw Deutsch’s work and met the people behind it, I realized Deutsch doesn’t just preach integration, they live it and put it to work seamlessly, regularly and effectively for all clients.”

At True, Gayles managed clients like AARP, Countrywide, Hilton Hotels and Infiniti. Gayles also has served as account director at several California agencies prior to founding True where she handled brands like Apple, Earthlink, Lexus and Nissan.

IPG’s Deutsch/LA was awarded lead agency on the Cadbury Schweppes’ Dr Pepper account in April. According to the Nielsen Monitor-Plus, its domestic ad spending was $35 million in 2007, down from $45 million in 2006.

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Nestea hopes for boost in tea-hungry market

BY Jenna Duncan

ATLANTA Coca-Cola-owned bottled ice tea, Nestea, is counting on the market swing towards teas and health drinks to drive up disappointing sales.

After a repackaging effort, the new look for Nestea comes with a message that it is packed with antioxidants and all-natural flavors, therefore a healthier beverage choice.

Nestea has also added two varieties of green tea to its line up, green tea citrus and diet green tea citrus. This summer, the company will launch outdoor ads with phrases like “Antioxidants, green tea, and you? Unstoppable.”

“Nestea was all about refreshment. While refreshment continues to be strength for the brand, it is now a category norm,” Coke representative Ray Crockett said. “We will continue to leverage our strength in refreshment, but we are evolving our advertising to communicate our product benefits in a fun, modern voice.”

Last year, Nestea spent $6.3 million on media, up from $1.4 million in 2006, according to the Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Coke continues to grow its interests in the bottled tea category; in February Coke acquired 40 percent of organic beverage company Honest Tea, and in April the brand launched a lower-calorie tea headed for the mass market.

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Miller expands light beer rollout to select cities

BY Jenna Duncan

MILWAUKEE Miller Brewing Co. yesterday announced that its rollout of MGD 64, a new 64-calorie version of Miller Genuine Draft Light, will be extended to six additional new markets, due to positive responses so far.

Miller said Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle have been added to its list of markets to expand sales of MGD 64. The “lighter light beer” was initially launched during the summer of 2007 in Madison, Wis., and is now available across the Midwest and in several Western states.

Marketing activities in places like spas and health clubs, have been planned, as well as print ad launches, radio spots and out-of-home advertising featuring MGD 64’s catch phrase “As Light As It Gets.”

Low-calorie MGD 64 boasts fewer calories and carbohydrates than all other competing brand light beers. At 64 calories and 2.4 grams of carbohydrates per 12-ounce serving, it has fewer than Amstel Light [95 calories, 5 carbs], Bud Light [110 calories, 6.6 carbs], Coors Light [102 calories, 5 carbs] and Michelob Ultra [95 calories, 2.6 carbs].

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