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P&G consolidates hair-care media with Carat

By Published on .

Priyanka Chopra for Pantene
Priyanka Chopra for Pantene Credit: Pantene via YouTube

Procter & Gamble Co. has consolidated most media duties for its North American hair-care business with Dentsu Aegis Network's Carat after a review that also involved Omnicom's Hearts & Science, incumbent on most of the business.

The move shifts a significant piece of P&G's business from the Omnicom shop, created in 2016 in part to service P&G. But H&S remains on the broader P&G North American media roster alongside Carat. Both won their places in an extensive 2015 pitch process for the biggest U.S. ad spender.

The move doesn't include Old Spice hair-care products, which continue to be handled by Wieden & Kennedy as part of a longstanding consolidated creative and media account, says P&G spokeswoman Tressie Rose.

Carat previously handled media for Aussie, but H&S handled the vast majority of North American hair care, including Pantene, Head & Shoulders and Herbal Essences. The assignment covers Canada and Puerto Rico, plus such areas as search and planning not covered by measured media. P&G of late has moved some planning and buying duties in house—particularly for digital and optimizing existing campaigns.

Measured media spending on P&G hair care brands last year—including Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences and Aussie—accounted for $261 million of the company's overall $2.7 billion outlay, or almost 10 percent, according to Kantar Media. Carat picks up duties for around $245 million of that spending, adding to the $16 million it already handled with Aussie.

Previously, Carat held around 15 percent of P&G's business, according to a person familiar with the matter, so this win pushes the shop closer to a quarter of the account. A Carat spokeswoman referred questions to P&G, and P&G declined to comment on the percentage breakdown. Hearts & Science declined to comment.

In an interview last month, P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said the hair-care review was prompted by that business taking a broad look at its marketing model. The review wasn't a full-scale pitch akin to what happened in 2015, since P&G and the hair-care business had experience working with both shops, Rose says.

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