$4 BILLION P&G ACCOUNT GOES TO STARCOM AND CARAT

Work Includes Communications and Media Planning

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Procter & Gamble Co. has awarded its communications planning business, including media planning, to Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest
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Group and Aegis Group's Carat, the packaged goods giant said.

MediaCom and MPG
Losing out following the review: Grey Global Group's MediaCom and also with Havas' Media Planning Group. MediaCom had handled roughly 15% of the communications planning business, while MPG had worked on Bounty.

"Communication planning agencies will better integrate the communication efforts working for us today," Ted Woehrle, vice president of P&G's North America marketing, said in a statement. "This shift in the planning process allows us to better understand and engage consumers with relevant information when and where they are most receptive."

The $4 billion North American communication planning review, launched in April, pitted incumbents Starcom Mediavest, MediaCom and MPG against two challengers, Aegis Group's Carat and Omnicom Group's Targetbase.

Expands planning role
The new account expands the role of media planning at P&G to encompass broader communication planning duties -- including areas such as promotion and public relations -- similar to an approach rival Unilever adopted in 2001.

P&G spends more than $4 billion annually on all forms of communication in the U.S. alone, including advertising, communication and trade promotion, all of which are part of the communication planning assignment. Cindy Tripp, associate director of North American media and marketing, who headed the review, declined to say how the planning agencies will be compensated, but based on past industry standards for planning assignments, total agency compensation is likely to be less than $150 million.

Starcom MediaVest Group launched a dedicated P&G planning unit last year, incorporating planning staff from Publicis roster agencies Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Publicis and Kaplan Thaler Group.

Category assignments
Starcom MediaVest will handle fabric care, health care, home care and beauty care, including feminine care. Carat will handle baby care, family care (includes tissue towels), pet care and snacks and beverages.

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Jack Neff contributed to this report.