Beats Out OMD, Universal McCann

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Gillette Co. has awarded its estimated $600 million global media business to WPP Group's MindShare, according to executives with knowledge of the review.

The shop bested Omnicom Group's OMD and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann, part of McCann-Erickson WorldGroup.

'Nothing to announce'
"We have no announcement and nothing to announce," a Gillette spokesman said. Executives at MindShare did not return phone calls at press time.

OMD had handled a

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majority of Gillette's global media, all of it in North America and Europe. Universal McCann worked on media in Latin America and Asia Pacific.

WPP Group's MindShare, which does not handle media buying for Gillette, was originally invited to participate in the review because of the marketer's relationship with WPP sibling Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. Ogilvy did some strategic and creative work on the Duracell battery brand in North America before the account was shifted last month from Omnicom's BBDO to Acme Idea Co., Norwalk, Conn.

According to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, Gillette spent $174 million in measured media in the United States alone last year.

Cost-cutting initiative
Gillette launched the global media review earlier this year as an outgrowth of Chairman-CEO James Kilts' "Strategic Sourcing" cost-cutting initiative, which included a review of every vendor relationship.

"We'll start using the muscle that a company of our size and reach clearly has but hasn't flexed," Mr. Kilts said in discussing the broad review with analysts in 2001. He said the company needed to improve analytic capabilities to develop the best media mix for its brands.

$600 million global ad spending
The company, which markets Gillette and Venus razors, Duracell batteries, Oral-B toothbrushes and Right Guard deodorant, spends more than $600 million on advertising globally, though the spending is distributed broadly throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Roth & Associates, New York, was the consultant on the review.

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