P&G SHUFFLING HURTS MCCANN IN JAPAN: GLOBAL AGENCY ROLE-NOT LOCAL STRENGTH -- IS PRIORITY

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Picking up the pace of its ad agency realignments, Procter & Gamble Co. has moved assignments worth about $10 million from McCann-Erickson Worldwide in Japan. The shift indicates P&G is placing priority on seeking a single global agency for a brand rather than on an agency's strength in a particular local market.

Leo Burnett-Kyodo, Tokyo, a Burnett alliance with Japanese agency Kyodo-Kokoku, gained work for the Clearasil skincare brand, while Dentsu Kansai, Osaka, a branch of giant Dentsu, won the ad account for Milton, a sterilizing formula for baby bottles.

A joint venture, Tokyu Agency International/D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Tokyo, was awarded advertising for Vicks cough and cold products in Japan.

"The ad agency assignments don't make sense," said one McCann insider. "None of these agencies have our resources or experience in Japan. They will have a real learning curve with the brands and clients."

McCann's Tokyo office continues to do work in Japan for Colac laxative.

JAPAN AN ANOMOLY

Japan was the only country where McCann handled P&G business. That anomaly was partly due to McCann's strength in the Japanese market, insiders said.

Nine of the top 10 ad agencies in Japan are Japanese-owned shops, according to Advertising Age rankings. McCann ranks ninth with billings of $823 million.

The move in Japan was spearheaded by Denis Beausejour, P&G's new VP-advertising, who worked in Japan as VP-general manager of health and beauty care products for Asia and later headed P&G's healthcare, laundry and cleaning products in China.

With the realignment, Vicks advertising is now shared by only two global ad agencies: Leo Burnett Co. in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and DMB&B in the U.S., Canada and Asia. Clearasil assignments are split between Burnett in Asia and Euro RSCG Tatham in North America and Europe.

Advertising for Milton, sold primarily in Asia, is centralized with Dentsu. P&G said Dentsu Kansai was awarded Milton because of its expertise in handling Muse, a P&G antibacterial soap.

In a similar move last January, Mr. Beausejour consolidated global ad responsibility for Max Factor cosmetics with Burnett. Max Factor's U.S. agency,

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