Leaving P&G? Giant Advertiser's Restructuring Spawns an Ad Campaign

Retirement Corp. of America Targets P&G 'Retirees' With Planning for New Jobs

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Advertising Age Player

Procter & Gamble Co. restructurings have shed dozens of brands and thousands of alumni over the years. But its latest wave of restructuring -- the biggest ever to hit the company's professional ranks -- has created enough of a Cincinnati outplacement industry that it's spawned an ad campaign.

Retirement Corp. of America, a Cincinnati-based financial planning firm, has been running "Leaving P&G?" TV ads in recent months on local newscasts, hoping to attract what the firm's CEO Dan Kiley estimates are 600 to 1,000 local non-manufacturing employees poised to leave the company as it sheds 100 brands.

P&G already has cut its non-manufacturing workforce worldwide 22% in the past two years, with more to come. About a quarter of the P&Gers Mr. Kiley has seen so far come from brand or related marketing functions, with engineering and research & development people also heavy in the mix.

Ads, created by MediaDex, Cincinnati, have encouraged departing P&Gers to develop family master plans that range from dream vacations to dream jobs, with a second ad focused on a job fair RCA helped organize.

"Retirement" is a bit of a misnomer, since many of the people taking packages at P&G are in their early 50s and some in their late 40s, Mr. Kiley said. And they're largely looking for work or entrepreneurial ventures. The job fair RCA held last Saturday attracted 26 other companies with Cincinnati headquarters or operations, such as Macy's, Kroger Co., General Electric Co. and Western-Southern Life Insurance Co. And it drew 225 impending "retirees."

Founded in 1984, RCA has had an active P&G clientele for decades and served people on their way out during several waves of restructuring -- from those under Ed Artzt in the 1990s, to those under A.G. Lafley in 2000-2001, to that under Mr. Lafley now.

"Some of the folks now retiring, we worked with their parents," Mr. Kiley said. "What's different this time is that they're doing a transition of a lot of their non-manufacturing employees. They're digging a little deeper across the board."

The impetus for the ad campaign and the job fair really came from Mr. Kiley's 12-year-old son, who had several friends whose parents were going to be leaving P&G, and asked him: "Can you do anything to help the folks who aren't retiring?"

"The good news," Mr. Kiley said, "is that there really does appear to be a demand for their services."

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