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Procter & Gamble Co. moved its Vidal Sassoon haircare brand, with an estimated $30 million in U.S. spending, to Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, from Euro RSCG Tatham. Also, P&G reassigned U.S. advertising for its Crest toothbrush to Crest toothpaste agency D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, from Burnett. Observers indicated the move of Vidal Sassoon was prompted by an interest in having a single agency handle the brand globally. But Vidal Sassoon also has hit a domestic slump, with sales down 9.9% to $45.3 million in the shampoo category and off 11.7% to $23 million in the conditioner category for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 27, according to Information Resources Inc. Separately, P&G reported earnings rose 9% to $1.17 billion for the fiscal first quarter, ended Sept. 30. Worldwide net sales were up 2% to $9.5 billion. Chairman-CEO John Pepper blamed troubles in developing markets for sluggish volume and sales. But unit volume growth in Asia and Latin America actually offset declines in North America and Europe.

Omnicom 3rd-quarter profits soar 30%

Omnicom Group, New York, reported a 30% increase in third-quarter net income, vs. a year ago, to $53.8 million on a 31% increase in worldwide revenue to $981.6 million. The results reflect, in part, the impact of 1997 acquisitions. Third-quarter domestic revenue climbed 27% to $509.2 million, while international revenue rose 37% to $472.4 million.

WPP profits up 16% in 3rd quarter

WPP Group, London, saw gross profit rise 16% in the third quarter, on a 15% increase in revenue, vs. a year ago, to $805.4 million. For nine months, revenue was up 13.7% to $2.34 billion.

BBDO exits Kellogg's search for 3rd agency

BBDO Worldwide, New York, dropped out of Kellogg Co.'s review to find a third agency for its general-market roster, said two executives close to the review. That leaves Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, and Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., competing with incumbents J. Walter Thompson USA, New York, and Leo Burnett USA, Chicago. BBDO was said to have left because of a possible conflict with client Frito-Lay. The agency, which confirmed its exit from the review, offered no explanation for its decision. Kellogg could not be reached at press time. Separately, Kellogg said it will roll out in January Raisin Bran Crunch, a mixture of raisin bran and oat and honey clusters. TV and print ads from JWT will support.

Intel consolidates consumer ads at Messner

Intel Corp. consolidated consumer advertising at Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG eight months after the New York agency joined Euro RSCG DSW Partners, San Francisco, on Intel's estimated $100 million U.S. account. DSW, a tech agency that has worked with Intel since 1990 and helped turn the chip giant into a widely known consumer brand, will continue to handle business-to-business and interactive advertising. But since consumer ads account for the lion's share of Intel spending, Messner Vetere emerges as Intel's lead agency based on billings. Messner Vetere's Intel work also will run in global markets, which are managed by the Euro RSCG network.

Envoy buys Hampel; has global aspirations

Envoy Communications Group, Toronto, said its purchase of Hampel/Stefanides, New York, is part of a drive to build a global ad agency company. Envoy already owns Communique, the No. 3 local agency in Canada. Envoy has billings estimated at $75 million. Hampel has $110 million in billings.

JWT names Hamilton a global creative chief

Bill Hamilton, 55, was named exec VP and one of three worldwide creative directors at J. Walter Thompson Co., New York, filling a slot vacant since the November 1997 departure of Helayne Spivak. Mr. Hamilton, until last year joint creative head at JWT sister agency Ogilvy & Mather, joined JWT last spring as a consultant working on the successful Merrill Lynch & Co. pitch. He moves up at JWT from senior partner-worldwide creative director on the Merrill Lynch business. In his new role, Mr. Hamilton will oversee JWT's total creative output, along with Worldwide Creative Directors Larry Tolpin in San Francisco and Allen Thomas in London.

Unilever margarine to reduce cholesterol

Unilever said it will introduce Take Control, a margarine made from plant sterols that clinical studies indicate can reduce cholesterol by up to 10%. The introduction is slated for January, at the same time that Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Products unit rolls out its cholesterol reducer, Benecol. McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, will handle Take Control. Unilever wouldn't discuss spending, but the launch will have to be commensurate with that of Benecol, estimated at $75 million in total marketing.

Fallon's U.K. team wins first account

Fallon McElligott, London, picked up its first client since its full agency team was installed in the U.K. at the beginning of September. The London office joins the roster of Cadbury Schweppes-owned confectioner Trebor Bassett, handling the $4 million U.K. launch of Fundays, a bagged selection of Trebor's branded candy. All Trebor Bassett media is handled by Bartle Bogle Hegarty-owned Motive. Fallon won VF Corp.'s pan-European Lee jeans account this summer, but that was before the creative team was put in place. The Minneapolis-based parent agency handles Lee in the U.S.

GM pan-European push backs Frontera launch

General Motors Europe on Oct. 20 kicked off its first pan-European ad campaign, backing the launch of the Frontera car. Lowe Howard-Spink, London, won the Opel/Vauxhall Frontera account in July in a pitch against McCann-Erickson Worldwide.

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