The shift stems from the company’s conflict policy, said a P&G spokeswoman, which prohibits the same shops from handling both P&G and Unilever accounts. MindShare is Unilever’s primary global communications planning and buying agency.
WPP will keep some of the business outside the U.S., including the Canadian buying account handled by MediaCom, which also handles media buying for P&G in some other overseas markets. Publicis’ Zenith Optimedia also handles P&G media buying in some overseas markets.
“We’re moving a little faster on the media because of the conflict,” the spokeswoman said. On creative agencies, assignments will “stay in place for the short term until we’re able to assess things.”
Gillette’s primary creative agency, Omnicom Group’s BBDO Worldwide, New York, is likely to keep its place on the roster, as it gets high marks from P&G executives, who also have promised to let incoming Gillette executives continue running their businesses.
Less clear is whether some of the smaller players on Gillette’s creative roster, including independent Acme Idea Co., South Norwalk, Conn.; and Havas’ Arnold Worldwide, Boston, will be able to keep the U.S. Duracell and Tag accounts respectively.
Also still unsettled is how communications planning will be handled for Gillette brands. P&G’s U.S. planning account currently is divided between SMG and Aegis Group’s Carat, New York. Gillette currently does similar planning in conjunction with its creative agencies.
“Our goal is to transition to the local agencies” in each country, said another P&G spokeswoman, regarding the communications planning piece of the business. “There's nothing definite on which or both [P&G communications planning agencies] will be involved.”