Coca-Cola launched a $14.8 million ad campaign in the U.K. for Coke Zero. Sugar-free drinks represent more than 40% of the soft drink market in the U.K., where Coke's traditional carbonated drink sales have been in decline. The company also plans to launch a bottled water product in the U.K.
Coca-Cola and its distributors continue to dispute Powerade rights. Recent court documents indicate an association of Coke's independent distributors, which claims Coke breached contract when it agreed to a direct-delivery deal with Wal-Mart Stores, proposed Coke buy out their distribution rights for $700 million, but Coke maintains that the amount is based on "grossly incorrect" financial analysis.
Coke's marketing team, headed by Mary Minnick, is hoping a new slate of ads by Wieden + Kennedy that celebrate the beverage's iconic status will help reverse declining sales. However, consumers appear to be switching from sweet soft drinks to energy drinks and other beverages because of dietary concerns, so it is unclear what an ad campaign, even one steeped in Coke's brand status, can do to alter current trends.
Coca-Cola Co. and Coca-Cola Enterprises filed motions Tuesday to dismiss the lawsuit brought by a number of other Coke bottlers to stop CCE from delivering Powerade directly to Wal-Mart Stores' warehouses.
Coca-Cola executive Irial Finan, a confidant of the company's CEO, believes Coke's bottling workers can help the brand expand and secure the best spots in retail outlets. "We sell cases on the streets, and how we perform on the streets is the difference between success and failure," Finan said.