Former PepsiCo advertising agency Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide Inc (FCB), has been issued with a temporary restraining order banning four employees from working with the cola-giant's rival Coca-Cola.

The ruling involves staff which previously worked on PepsiCo's Aquafina bottled water and Gatorade energy drinks brands from now working on the Coke's Dasani bottled water and Powerade energy drink brands.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, a Chicago circuit-court judge found that PepsiCo has a protectable business interest in preserving the confidentiality of its trade secrets and confidential information.

After losing PepsiCo's account in September, and billings worth approximately US$400m, FCB won the Coca-Cola Dasani and Powerade accounts in October after the cola-giant consolidated much of its brand business with the Interpublic Group, FCB's parent company.

The Wall Street Journal report claims that court documents filed on behalf of Pepsi stated: "FCB would ensure that no employee who had performed services for any PepsiCo brand would be transferred to a Coca-Cola or Coca-Cola affiliated account for at least a minimum of two years after leaving the PepsiCo business."