Coca-Cola finalised the shortlist after holding chemistry meetings with a large number of agencies in September.
The drinks giant kicked off a media planning and buying review in July, its first since Vizeum picked up the planning brief from Universal McCann in 2000.
Coca-Cola marketing director Cathryn Sleight said the review was a response to the changing media landscape and not a reflection of the performance of the incumbent agencies.
“Obviously the media environment in 2007 is a different one to 2000, so it’s a prudent time to look again at the best media structure. We’ve been delighted with Universal McCann and Zenith’s work over the past seven years,” she said.
The media account, which covers all Coca-Cola brands, including Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Fanta and Minute Maid, will run from 2008. The creative account, split between Mother, VCCP and Lowe London, is unaffected.
Earlier this month, Coca-Cola unexpectedly awarded its seven-figure UK outdoor advertising contract to JCDecaux. It already has an exclusive deal in the US with JCDecaux’s rival Clear Channel.
The contract includes a series of large-format billboards, all carrying an illuminated Coca-Cola branding badge, as well as the 32-metre-high M4 Torch.
To mark the partnership, JCDecaux will also unveil its “high-definition” sites, a network of recyclable vinyl posters that have been designed by the firm to replace traditional billboards.
In its second-quarter results, published in July, Coca-Cola posted a 15% increase in net revenues across the EU and a 5% increase in unit case volume year on year.