Pepsi is keeping the pressure on Coca-Cola in the final leg of the Olympic Games build-up.

Coke increased featured-space promos even further this week, to 37 - 54% more than the same week last year [Assosia]. And Coca-Cola’s £718,913 media spend for July to date dwarfed Pepsi’s media spend of £51,424 [Ebiquity]. But Pepsi’s promotional support this month has been much more aggressive.

Although featured-space promotions for Pepsi totalled 28 this month, versus Coke’s 135, the cuts have grown deeper this week, with an average saving of 50% against Coke’s 31%.

Eight-pack cans of Coke sold this week on average at £3.90 and were bogof at Tesco and Sainsbury’s [BrandView 25 July]. Pepsi undercut Coke at £2.74 and was on deal at Sainsbury’s for £2. Coke’s 2l bottles sold at £1.86 and were two for £2.50 at Sainsbury’s. Pepsi matched this price and was bogof at Tesco and buy two-for-£3 at Asda and Sainsbury’s.

Early July data shows value sales of Pepsi were 5.9% higher for the first week y-o-y, while Coke’s were 2.3% lower [Symphony IRI w/e 7 July 2012]. Pepsi’s volumes were also 10.3% higher y-o-y, against Coke’s 2.3%.

Non-sponsor Persil also upped its activity - with 48 promotions in July against 16 in July 2011 - to counter olympic sponsor Procter & Gamble’s Ariel, which actually cut featured-space deals to 22, from 50 last year [Assosia].

Other non-sponsors pulled back on featured-space promotions. This week, nappies brand Huggies had six fewer deals y-o-y while P&G upped promotions on its Pampers, adding four.

Sponsors were pushing hard to minimise competitors’ activity, said Assosia MD Kay Staniland, so while promotions might only be on a few lines, they occupied a bigger space, leaving no room for the competition. “soft drinks in particular have suffered so Pepsi is having to up its promotional activity - they are big enough to be able to throw money at it, but not all the competitors are,” she added.