Beiersdorf Makes DraftFCB Lead Global Creative Agency

Marketer Will Scale Back Work With Longtime Shop TBWA

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NEW YORK ( -- After rejiggering its media-agency assignments earlier this year, Beiersdorf is now changing things up on its creative roster: The beauty marketer has asked Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftFCB to lead global advertising for Nivea, Eucerin and other brands, according to executives familiar with the matter.

The move means that Beiersdorf will scale back work with its other longtime creative agency, Omnicom Group's TBWA Worldwide. Representatives for both shops referred calls to Beiersdorf, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Executives familiar with the situation say the changes came without a pitch and stem from a desire by the Hamburg, Germany-based company to have more consistent brand messaging in the 150 global markets in which it operates. While TBWA isn't being completely eliminated from the roster, this move -- as well as the media agency changes made by Beiersdorf earlier this year--signal a strain in the relationship between the marketer and Omnicom Group shops.

In March, Beiersdorf awarded its $100 million U.S. media planning and buying account to Aegis' Carat after a review that included the longtime incumbent, Omnicom's OMD. The company's relationship with TBWA is more than 20 years old, one that started out as a regional assignment and grew into a network relationship. On a global basis, the company's estimated to spend nearly $500 million on advertising, with much of the focus on the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China in particular) markets.

Grabbing the lead creative role means another organic win in a matter of a week for DraftFCB, which recently regained digital duties for Taco Bell. That work had been parked at sibling R/GA for just over a year. However, DraftFCB has been seeing a deterioration with one of its other major clients, Kraft, which has shifted several pieces of business, including Planters and Macaroni & Cheese, to other agencies.

Based on Beiersdorf's third-quarter financial report earlier this month, DraftFCB will need to work hard to connect with consumers in the marketer's home region. The company said Germany, Western and Eastern Europe all recorded sales declines over the year-prior period, while Russia, North America and Latin America achieved double-digit sales growth.

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