P&G CUTS 31 I-SHOPS FROM ROSTER

Keeps Nine Agencies; Maintains 300 Web sites Worldwide

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A correction has been made in this story. See below for details.

CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Procter & Gamble Co. has cut its roster of interactive shops from 40 to nine, exceeding the original target when it began the review in August of cutting the roster in half.

The shops left standing include a mix of pure i-shops and integrated marketing communications and database-direct shops, reflecting P&G's emphasis on using the Internet for relationship and other targeted communications rather than conventional brand advertising.

The roster
The slimmed-down

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roster includes Bcom3 Group's Novo, San Francisco, and Chemistri, Chicago; Omnicom Group's Targetbase, Irving, Texas; Havas Advertising's Arnold Worldwide, Boston; Grey Global Group's Grey Interactive, New York; and independents Bridge Integrated Communications, Cincinnati; IMC2, Dallas; Divine, Chicago; and Northlich, Cincinnati.

"We have a limited number of strategic partners, so we wanted to have fewer shops where we can continue to share and learn and grow as partners," a spokeswoman said.

She wouldn't comment on whether the consolidation would mean more business for the remaining shops or whether because P&G has largely completed development of its infrastructure for Internet marketing, including Web site and database platforms, it would mean less work going forward.

300 Web sites worldwide
Though P&G doesn't rank among the 10 largest online advertisers, the company maintains more than 300 Web sites globally, including several multi-brand efforts and online newsletter programs, such as HomeMadeSimple from Bridge, S-Mag from Northlich and BeingGirl from AnswerThink.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said TargetBase was the agency for BeingGirl.com. While AnswerThink is not among the nine interactive agencies on P&G's roster, the agency will continue to work on BeingGirl. P&G brands with existing relationships with shops not on the list are not mandated to switch, a spokeswoman said, but added: "A majority of our [interactive] work is with those nine, and that's a trend that's going to be continuing."

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