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Episode Seven: Man And Machine
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Procter & Gamble has expanded its relationship with Publicis Worldwide from its North American dishwashing business, composed of Dawn and Cascade, to include creative for all global dishwashing brands.
According to an internal memo obtained by Ad Age, Publicis will now handle creative for global dishwashing brands Fairy, Yes, Joy, Salvo, Ayudin, Magistral, Dreft and Jar, spanning six regions and more than 32 countries.
Publicis Worldwide will serve as lead agency on the business, working on creative, digital, analytics and search, but the shop will tap into the Publicis Communications network in certain regions, according to someone with knowledge of the matter. Media and PR are not included in the assignment. Publicis Communications is made up of MSLGroup, Nurun, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett as well as BBH and Marcel.
Publicis Kaplan Thaler had held the North American dishwashing business while Grey had the global account.
The memo, written to staff by Publicis Worldwide CEO Arthur Sadoun, said the agency had pitched against WPP's Grey for the business. Grey declined to comment.
"We have made a strategic business decision to consolidate our dish business to one lead creative agency globally to allow us a simpler, more efficient and strategic approach for the business worldwide," said a P&G spokeswoman. "After careful consideration, we have determined that we will consolidate to Publicis as the lead agency for dish. Publicis currently oversees the Dawn and Cascade brands, the largest portion of our dish portfolio. Grey is a longstanding and strong agency partner within P&G's portfolio and remains a P&G roster agency."
"This decision was not based on performance but grounded in a choice to operate with one global agency," she continued. "We believe this approach will be a true enabler for our dish business – it is a simpler, more efficient and strategic approach for the business that will enable us to better leverage the power of our dish scale."
In his memo, Mr. Sadoun said, "This win underscores and strengthens our position and partnership with one of the most important clients in our company, in a category where we have earned their trust and confidence through our consistent success in North America over a 10-year relationship."
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Mr. Sadoun, who was recently named Executive of the Year in the Ad Age A List, added in his memo that the win is "further validation" that the company's new structure is working for clients. The company reorganized last year into four groups: Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, Publicis.Sapient and Publicis Healthcare.
The creative win comes several months after Publicis' Starcom Mediavest Group lost its long-time multibillion-dollar media buying and planning business for P&G. After going through its first major North American buying shift in nearly two decades, the consumer goods giant hired Omnicom Group for the majority of the work in December. DentsuAegis' Carat was awarded about one-third of the business, and U.S. buying and planning incumbent Starcom Mediavest is working on some P&G brands.
In late January, Ad Age reported that P&G is hiking media spending, particularly in North America, and seeing some encouraging results, as a rebound in U.S. sales helped the company deliver better-than-expected organic sales and profit growth last quarter.
P&G is in the midst of a plan to cut agency and production fees by $570 million this year as part of a plan that's also reducing the number of agencies it works with by 40%. Unspecified additional cuts will come under a new five-year cost-cutting plan P&G announced last week.
Contributing: Jack Neff