Pepsi Looks to Future as Past Extends Long Arm

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When chemist Richard Ritchie concocted the original recipe for Pepsi back in 1931, the company was then known as Loft Candy Company. In time, Pepsi split off from Loft and Ritchie went along with them. His heirs are saying, though, that the beverage giant never took ownership of the recipe.

Reuters reports that Ritchie’s heirs filed suit on Friday for the legal right to share his documents “with historians, collectors and film producers.” Ritchie’s daughter, Joan Ritchie Silleck; his son, Robert Ritchie; and the estate of Ritchie’s late son, Richard, said in their suit they want to “tell their father’s extraordinary life story without interference or the threat of litigation” from Pepsi.[more]

The plaintiffs would like to collect “undisclosed damages” for the cola maker’s “improper interference with their rights in the Ritchie invention and the Ritchie documents,” the wire service reports.

The suit claims Pepsi never required that Ritchie transfer the actual ownership to the company since he had come up with the formula while being employed with a different company. According to PepsiCo’s website, AP reports, the company’s namesake cola was created in the late 1890s by Caleb Bradham, a pharmacist from North Carolina. The beverage was named it for its ingredients of pepsin and cola nuts; Bradham lost the company in bankruptcy after World War I.

Meanwhile, Ad Age reports that Pepsi execs have been studying months of research in the company’s Beverage Lab 30 miles north of New York City to try and “chart a new course for a brand that has endured an embarrassing slip to the No. 3 soda, just behind Diet Coke.”

“This brand does not need to be reinvented. It needs to be reignited,” said Brad Jakeman, president-global enjoyment and chief creative officer of PepsiCo, who drinks a Pepsi or Diet Pepsi every morning and a Diet Mountain Dew in the afternoon, according to Ad Age.

Ad Age notes that Pepsi, in its bid to fend off rivals in the cola wars, has gone through a number of taglines in the past few years.

“Brand Pepsi legitimately needs a big, integrated campaign that can run for several years, and PepsiCo has not given it that,” John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest, told the publication. “For some years now the bottlers have been looking to PepsiCo to get behind this brand in a big and muscular way, and its clear PepsiCo is doing that now.”

After nine months of solid research, Jakeman and his fellow execs have finally decided, Ad Age reports, that “Pepsi is not a brand that belongs in a museum.” Coke, of course, has its World of Coca-Cola attraction in Atlanta, which recently welcomed its three millionth visitor.

Coke is about the status quo, Jakeman told the magazine, while Pepsi is all about living for the moment right now. This naturally led to the new global campaign and tagline, “Live for Now,” which today kicks off its TV campaign starring Nicki Minaj.

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