Move Comes as Agency Loses Major P&G Accounts

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BOSTON ( -- Arnold McGrath Chairman Pat McGrath is expected to retire by the end of the year, executives close to the agency said.

His departure follows Procter & Gamble Co.'s realignment of its advertising agency roster that cost his agency several brands for which he had been the steward for two decades.

No comment
Mr. McGrath was out of the office and not immediately available for comment, and Arnold executives didn't immediately return telephone calls.

Lynne Boles, manager of advertising development for P&G, confirmed that Mr. McGrath is retiring, but said Mr. McGrath's decision is a coincidence and that the account moves were part of a series of events set in motion when Publicis Groupe decided last month to close D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. D'Arcy handled a number of accounts for P&G.

As part of a bid to increase

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efficiency and control costs in a tight economy, P&G is shifting its accounts at Arnold McGrath to Publicis Groupe and Grey Global Group, which handle about 95% of its $3.8 billion global business. Arnold McGrath brands included Bounty paper towels and napkins, Zest body wash and Era detergent. The brands received $81.2 million in measured media, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

Bounty is going to Publicis Worldwide, Zest to Grey and Era to Publicis' Leo Burnett.

P&G statement
P&G issued a statement earlier today regarding its realignment, citing Mr. McGrath personally.

"We are grateful to Arnold McGrath, particularly Pat McGrath, for the enormous contribution they have made to our business," said Mark Ketchum, P&G's president global baby and family care, in a prepared statement. "Arnold McGrath helped us build Bounty into one of the company's great brands over almost two decades, in addition to strong work on Zest and Era. The decision to consolidate all of our business at Grey and Publicis was difficult because of this long and successful relationship."

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