In overseas agency news, Brand Republic reports that Mother has landed a £35 million (AUS$74 million) pan-European advertising account for Diet Coke. Why do we care? Mother is one of the funkiest agencies in the UK, with offices in New York and Buenos Aries. It’s won awards and kudos for its creative campaigns, though some say that it has left some of its quirkiness behind to focus on bigger clients. Evidence of its funkiness can be found at Mother’s website, which features footage of employees skateboarding around the office. Its first work for the soft drink giant will be a campaign for Diet Coke and Coke Light, aimed at Coca-Cola‘s European markets, including the UK. Mother’s appointment is expected to have a significant affect on the work of rival VCCP does for the brand. VCCP has handled UK Coke since 2004, but it was not asked to pitch for the pan-European brief. Coca-Cola is now likely to rid itself of the Diet Coke hunk character as its logo (reinstated by VCCP).

Andy Medd, the partner and head strategist at Mother, says “It’s pretty daunting to follow in the Diet Coke hunk’s footsteps, but maybe it’s time for him to retire. Everyone at Mother is completely over-excited about this appointment and its probably one of the biggest things thats ever happened to us.” “In light of (Mother’s appointment), Coca-Cola Great Britain is currently reviewing the role VCCP will play on Diet Coke,” a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola revealed.

Coca-Cola’s decision is a significant change in its marketing strategy, looking to shift from a market-by-market advertising approach toward regional campaigns and it is likely the company will continue to roll out the same strategy across its other brands. A pan-European review for its Sprite brand has already been conducted, with Ogilvy and Mather Frankfurt appointed ahead of Karmarama and M&C Saatchi Berlin. A possible explanation for the strategic change could be the appointment of Guy Duncan, the former Coley Porter Bell client services director, who joined Coca-Cola as the director of creative development for Europe. For updates on who gets the Fanta and other Coca-Cola brand accounts, watch this space.