Review Narrows to Five Agencies; Spending Not Disclosed

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- German consumer products giant Henkel expects to decide next month on a review for a new U.S. corporate branding assignment after narrowing its list of contenders last week from 14 to five.

Finalists include the New York offices

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of Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, BBDO Worldwide and TBWA Worldwide and the Boston offices of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mullen and independent Partners & Simons, said a Henkel spokeswoman. Other contenders from the original list of 14, including Interpublic's Deutsch and Publicis Groupe's Fallon, both New York, were eliminated based on either conflicts or creative reasons, she said.

Spending on the assignment was not disclosed.

Recent acquisitions
The corporate branding effort follows Henkel's acquisitions, announced late last year, of Dial Corp. and Advanced Research Laboratories, which raised the company's profile in the U.S. package-goods industry. The deals added brands such as Dial, Purex, Renuzit, Got2Be and Citre Shine to a portfolio that included Fa, Dep, Schwarzkopf and Duck brand duct tape.

"We're a very big name in Europe, but we're not even on the dial in the U.S.," the spokeswoman said, adding that the U.S. effort would be similar to a European branding effort launched a few years ago.

Corporate branding strategies
The move comes as Henkel's competitors are becoming more active in corporate branding globally and in the U.S. as well. Unilever unveiled a new corporate logo from Omnicom's brand identity shop Wolff Olins in May and plans to make the new logo and Unilever identity more prominent on packaging starting next year. Japan's Kao Corp. is restaging its corporate identity globally as Kao Brands, a name its U.S.-based Andrew Jergens Co. unit is also adopting. And Procter & Gamble Co. has become more active in recent years in corporate branding projects, including its multi-brand P&G Brandsaver newspaper coupon insert.

The review for creative and media on Henkel's corporate branding assignment does not affect Henkel brand assignments in the U.S., which are handled by DDB, Los Angeles and Chicago, and sibling GSD&M, Austin. BBDO already handles work for Henkel overseas as well.

Henkel's brands, including those acquired from Dial and ARL, spent a combined $25 million on measured media last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

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