Pepsi is to switch its flagship brand from Pepsi-Cola to its diet counterpart, according to press reports. The Wall Street Journal said today (16 March) that the drinks giant is cutting its advertising spend on Pepsi-Cola while making Diet Pepsi the star of its US marketing efforts.

"We are treating Diet Pepsi as the flagship brand," Dave Burwick, chief marketing officer for Pepsi-Cola North America, told the paper. "It's a big step for us."

The priority shift will result in Diet Pepsi being marketed as a brand for everyone, including teenagers and Baby Boomers, while Pepsi will be targeted more narrowly at under 25s, Latinos, African-Americans and sports fans.

The company said that it plans to double its marketing spending on Diet Pepsi this year, while the budget for Pepsi-Cola will fall slightly.