PUBLICIS FORMS DEDICATED P&G MEDIA UNIT

SMG/P&G to Handle Planning Assignments

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group today said it is creating a dedicated planning group called SMG/P&G to manage packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble Co.'s U.S. media planning assignments.

P&G currently has on its roster Mediavest USA, Starcom USA and Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, all part of Publicis, the French advertising agency holding company.

Mediavest previously handled TV planning

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and buying, with Starcom handling print planning and buying. Saatchi & Saatchi handled broader media planning for the many P&G brands it handles, including Pampers, Tide, Iams and Olay.

P&G spent more than $2 billion on U.S. measured media in 2002, according to TNS/Media Intelligence's CMR. This consolidation would cover about $1.8 billion of that.

Brand categories
The new planning group will have offices in New York and Chicago and will be organized around specific brand categories, according to Starcom MediaVest. The move is consistent with P&G's category alignment and has been one of Starcom MediaVest's first priorities following last year's acquisition of Bcom3 Group by Publicis, Jack Klues, CEO of Starcom MediaVest, said in a statement.

"We gain greater efficiencies in managing the media assignments because we won't have staff in disparate locations simultaneously focused on the same category-specific challenges and opportunities," he said.

The realignment by Publicis is "consistent with our plans to move aggressively beyond traditional media thinking and embrace a holistic consumer communications platform," Greg Ross, director of media for P&G North America, said in a statement.

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