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Lowe's $75m US Diet Coke account under review

NEW YORK - Lowe & Partners faces the prospect of losing its $75m (£48m) Diet Coke account in the US, as the soft drinks giant lines up four agencies to come up with ideas for a new campaign.

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According to reports, executives from Coca-Cola will brief three agencies belonging to the Interpublic Group of Companies to come up with ideas for the next big marketing push -- Foote Cone & Belding; the Martin Agency, based in Richmond, Virginia; and Gotham in New York. Lowe is also part of Interpublic.

While it is not unusual for Coca-Cola to consult a number of agencies in the run-up to a big new campaign, the presence of another agency with a North American network, FCB, is being seen as a threat to Lowe. Esther Lee, the new chief creative officer for Coke in North America, will be one of those overseeing the review.

Lowe has already lost several accounts, including the US work for Heineken, which went to D'Arcy. In the UK, it has also resigned the £43m Orange account, seen large portions of its Vauxhall work shift to Delaney Lund Knox Warren and lost the £10m Burger King work.

The last US big campaign Lowe created for Diet Coke was "Do what feels good". The most recent advertising includes promotional work alongside the video rental chain Blockbuster. It is the second time Lowe has worked on the Diet Coke brand, also handling the account between 1993 and 1998.

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