Gillette awards BBDO antiperspirant brands

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Gillette Co. has moved its antiperspirant/deodorant brand accounts to BBDO Worldwide, New York.

The shift is part of a consolidation begun last month, when the marketer transferred its Right Guard and Natrel Plus brands in the U.K. to Abbott Mead Vickers/BBDO from Saatchi & Saatchi, both London.

Now BBDO, already the main Gillette agency, handling razors and blades, will handle U.S. advertising for Right Guard as well as Dry Idea and Soft & Dry.

Gillette spends about $15 million to $20 million marketing the brands in the U.S. and U.K. combined; Right Guard receives the bulk of that spending.

Saatchi & Saatchi had handled Right Guard in the U.S. since 1996 and in the U.K. since 1984.

CONFLICT WITH P&G BRAND

One Saatchi executive said the agency decided to part ways with Gillette earlier this year because it was awarded Procter & Gamble Co.'s Old Spice brand in Latin America and Asia. It later picked up the entire $40 million global account.

A Gillette spokesman said the breakup with Saatchi was "very amicable."

A Saatchi-created ad that featured National Football League quarterback Brett Favre and his wife broke in April, and was the agency's last work for Right Guard. It was part of the ongoing "Anything less would be uncivilized" campaign created earlier in the '90s by former agency N.W. Ayer & Partners, New York.

CATEGORY SEES GROWTH

The antiperspirant/deodorant category is seeing moderate growth in the U.S., according to data from Information Resources Inc. Total U.S. sales rose 5.3% in 1998, to $1.59 billion.

Right Guard is a distant second among U.S. deodorant brands, behind P&G's Secret. It held a 9.9% share in 1998 to Secret's 14.6%. But while Secret's sales rose 5.2%, Right Guard only grew 1.5%.

Old Spice was the eighth-largest brand, with 5.7% of the market, up 20.4% from 1997.

Contributing: Mercedes M. Cardona.

Copyright May 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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