The WPP and Grey relationship with P&G faced strains in late 2020 when WPP CEO Mark Read announced plans to merge the agency with AKQA. Pritchard was said by people familiar with the matter to be upset by the news and sought assurances the Grey brand would survive the merger.
Notably, Grey retained its P&G business in the aftermath and even picked up some work, such as the recent U.S. launch of Voost dietary supplements handled by Grey Midwest, the outpost of the agency opened near P&G headquarters in Cincinnati on Reiner’s watch. Grey also handles Gillette, Venus, Braun, Febreze and Downy for P&G, the last as part of the Woven Collaborative in conjunction with Publicis Groupe agencies.
Javier Campopiano, who remains as worldwide creative chairman of Grey, was a key player while at Saatchi on the 2018 “It’s a Tide Ad” Super Bowl campaign for P&G.
P&G declined to comment on Shelly’s hiring or the Grey relationship, with a spokeswoman saying the company doesn’t comment on personnel changes at its agencies. But Pritchard last month in Cannes did laud Grey’s work on Venus as part of his presentation on creativity.
Earlier in her career, Shelly was executive VP and worldwide senior director at BBDO, leading the Johnson & Johnson consumer business. During her time at BBDO, according to her LinkedIn profile, she previously worked with P&G on Oral-B, up to 2008. But she was not working on that brand when P&G moved it to Publicis in 2010 or on Gillette and Venus when P&G moved them from BBDO to Grey in 2013 and 2015, respectively.