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Former Coca Cola CMO Chuck Fruit Dies At 61

  • Ad Age, Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:15 AM
Chuck Fruit, an influential marketer who held top positions at Coca Cola and Anheuser-Busch, died suddenly yesterday morning of an apparent heart attack while swimming laps at home. He was 61.

After joining A-B in 1976, he became one of the earliest proponents of moving the company's ads to cable TV and sports programming. He is also regarded as one of the architects of A-B's sport-sponsorship dominance. In 1991, he left A-B for Coke, where he held a variety of sports- and media-related positions, including two stints as chief marketing officer. At Coke, he helped develop the long-running "Always Coca-Cola" campaign, and was also instrumental in forging the hugely successful sponsorship deal with American Idol.

Fruit retired from Coke in 2005 and has served as an adviser to the company since. He is survived by his wife, Sharon.



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