P&G Reviews Mobile Marketing Duties

Longtime Mobile Shop Brand in Hand Not Participating

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Procter & Gamble is reviewing its multimillion-dollar mobile marketing business, which entails responsibilities for several of the packaged good giant's brands, according to executives familiar with the matter. Brand in Hand, P&G's mobile agency for the last several years, is not participating.

One of the reasons for the pitch? Global capabilities. P&G is said to be looking for a mobile shop that can help it in other markets around the globe; independent agency Brand in Hand has two offices, in Los Angeles and New York.

P&G is turning to at least one of its agency holding company partners for the pitch: Publicis Groupe's Vivaki group of agencies, which includes Starcom MediaVest Group, Razorfish and Digitas. The group is said to be in the final rounds of a pitch process, along with other holding company players.

A Vivaki spokeswoman referred calls to client, and a spokeswoman for P&G couldn't immediately reach executives for comment. Brand in Hand declined comment.

One person familiar with the matter said Brand in Hand had a $2 million advisory relationship, but the new assignment could grow along with P&G's interest in mobile. Another industry executive said a WPP-affliated shop is also taking part in the review.

Publicis is P&G's largest holding company partner, followed by WPP, both of which handle some aspects of media planning or buying in North America.

P&G spent $4 billion in U.S. advertising in 2009, according to Ad Age DataCenter.

It's unclear whether the review will result in only one selection. While Brand in Hand previously held the account by itself, P&G has, in most areas of marketing services, used a model whereby at least two agencies or holding companies split duties.

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Contributing: Mike Bush, Michael Learmonth

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