UM retains $20m Coca-Cola South Pacific media account

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 14 June 2019

Coca-Cola South Pacific has retained IPG Mediabrands agency UM as its media agency of record, following a competitive pitch, AdNews can reveal.

The account of the soft drink business, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, has been with UM since March 2014, after it won the business from Ikon.

At the time, when the agency was headed up by CEO Mat Baxter, UM also swiped the strategy slice of the business which was held by Naked.

The estimated ad spend for Coca Cola South Pacific was $15.9million according to Source Nielsen Ad Intel, from December 2017 - January 2019. However, it's thought to be closer to $20m.

"This activity is part of our regular cycle of agency reviews with our current agencies in Australia and New Zealand taking part in the process," a Coca-Cola South Pacific spokesperson told AdNews.

"The review process is now complete and UM has retained our business in Australia and we will expand the relationship to also include New Zealand.

"Coca-Cola South Pacific did invite media agencies to participate in an agency review process and demonstrate how they could support the Cola-Cola business in Australia and in New Zealand."

AdNews broke the original news of a review back in March, with sources revealing that each major holding group had been involved.

Other brands in the company's remit also include Barista Bros, Pump still water, Sprite and more.

As one of the world's most recognisable brands, Coca-Cola remains on the growing list of major clients held by UM, which also include the master media account for the Australian Government, worth a staggering $150 million, as well as Nestlé ($50m), AGL ($23m), Heineken and American Express.

All of these clients had been won by the agency after a sustained 18 months of growth, following the appointment of current CEO Fiona Johnston.

Most recently, the agency also retained major retail client Kmart, which is worth approximately $20m.

UM was this year's winner of the AdNews Agency of the Year Award, as well as the Media Agency of the Year Award.

AdNews has approached UM for comment.

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