P&G names brand winners

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Procter & Gamble Co. withdrew its U.S. accounts from Wells BDDP, New York, moving about $125 million in spending to other roster shops as of Feb. 19. P&G said the loss of key staff members at Wells led it to move the accounts to roster shops already handling the same brands overseas. Oil of Olay moves to Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, New York; Pringles potato chips to Grey Advertising, New York; and Gain detergent to Leo Burnett USA, Chicago. Additionally, Era detergent was reassigned from Burnett to Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor, New York.

GGT Group, London, parent of Wells BDDP, remains committed to Wells and plans to focus on shoring up the New York operation, GGT CEO Michael Greenlees said today. "It's an important flagship to the BDDP network," he explained. "We are reviewing at the group level the New York operation to ensure it has the support it needs."

Wells lost its three top managers in New York since last summer, including President Paula Forman and head planner Douglas Atkin, who resigned earlier this month to join Merkley Newman Harty, New York.

P&G was Wells BDDP's largest client and represented 6% of GGT Group's annual revenues. GGT is anticipating a charge of $4.9 million related to the loss of P&G and is forecasting that it will force down operating profits for the next fiscal year, ending April 30, 1999. GGT released its quarterly earnings report today, showing total revenues of $166 million for the six months ending Oct. 31, up 10% from the same period in 1996, and an operating profit of $18.2 million, up 29% from the same time in 1996. The results represent the first reporting period since the acquisition of BDDP by GGT in April 1997.

Copyright January 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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