P&G BOOSTS RSCG'S STATURE WITH CLEARASIL

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Procter & Gamble Co. last week gave Tatham Euro RSCG, Chicago, and its Paris-based parent, Euro RSCG, the Clearasil account while naming it as teen skincare shop.

Euro RSCG already handled Biactol, a European teen skincare brand, and last week P&G moved the $20 million U.S. and European Clearasil business to the agency from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York.

P&G is signaling that it sees efficiencies in consolidating accounts on a category basis, though Leo Burnett Co. will handle the category in Latin America and Asia because Euro RSCG lacks a strong presence in those regions.

INCREASING EFFICIENCY

"This move [was designed to] increase the efficiency of our respective operations," said L. Ross Love, P&G VP-advertising.

Though not a big loss for DMB&B, P&G's No. 1 agency around the world with about $600 million in billings, the consolidation was a gain for Euro RSCG. While Tatham in Chicago handles such high-profile brands as Head & Shoulders, Vidal Sassoon and Old Spice for P&G, the network has had relatively little success in winning overseas business from P&G.

It now has lead international status on two brands: Clearasil and Old Spice.

`GREAT PHONE CALL'

"That was a great phone call I got," said Steve Dworin, Euro RSCG's vice chairman-international. Euro RSCG hired Mr. Dworin in November with the specific aim of winning new overseas business from U.S. multinational clients.

The win could also be significant in light of persistent reports from executives close to P&G that the marketer is considering a realignment of its roster that would leave it with five global agencies.

FOUR GLOBAL SHOPS

P&G now has four global agencies-DMB&B, Burnett, Grey Advertising and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide-and a number of other local-country agencies, including five in the U.S.-Tatham and Wells Rich Greene BDDP; Lotas Minard Patton McIver; Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor; and N.W. Ayer & Partners, all New York.

However, Euro RSCG has a long way to go to win P&G assignments outside North America and Europe.

P&G officials have denied a consolidation is being considered, but the Clearasil move indicates it does see benefits in aligning categories with agencies on a global or multiregional basis.

Contributing: Pat Sloan.

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