Top marketer Jill Beraud is out as PepsiCo tries to put some fizz back into its fizzy drinks

Someone had to pay for the indignity of Pepsi losing second place in the US soft drinks market to Diet Coke (no prizes for guessing which one is first) so PepsiCo Beverages CMO Jill Beraud is on her way.

She will be replaced by three people it seems, as PepsiCo tries for a more ‘global’ approach.

One of these will be Brad Jakeman who is leaving gaming company Activision Blizzard to look after the Pepsi trademark worldwide while Simon Lowden is being promoted to the hot seat of looking after beverages in the US.

In the old days it would have been CEO Indra Nooyi falling on her sword but fizzy drinks are no longer the be-all and end-all at Pepsico. The Frito-Lay snacks division is now the biggest part of the company with brands like Doritos, Fritos and Walkers in the UK while it has also done well from the Gatorade and Tropicana acquisitions and non-carbonated drinks like Mountain Dew and SoBe.

But fizzy drinks still matter and PepsiCo has taken a beating at the hands of Coca-Cola even though it is now actually a bigger company across the piece.

Beraud joined the company in 2008, initially as CMO of PepsiCo itself, after a 13-year stint at lingerie firm Victoria’s Secret, a fairly big leap.

In her time at the company Pepsi’s advertising has failed to sparkle, despite enjoying the services of Omnicom big guns TBWA/Chiat Day in the US and BBDO outside. PepsiCo spends about $1.5bn annually across all its brands, making it the world’s 19th biggest advertiser. So there will be a few sweaty palms at TBWA and maybe BBDO.

TBWA recently lost most if its Mars business to BBDO so the last thing it needs is Pepsi to start looking around.

Coke has profited from using smaller, creative agencies like Wieden+Kennedy for some global campaigns, moving outside the once all-powerful Interpublic-owned McCann Erickson. Kraft has recently started using a roster of creative agencies on smaller brands. So it’s not hard to discern the direction Pepsi might take next.

In the meantime the new marketers have to make the best use of the increased budget Pepsi has been given by its parent company and make the brand’s $60m investment in Simon Cowell’s new US version of the X Factor pay off.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.