Creative Powerhouse Gets Eukanuba Brand From Saatchi

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Procter & Gamble Co., long on a quest to improve creative cache, today announced it has awarded two assignments to independent Wieden & Kennedy, one for its Eukanuba pet food global franchise and the second for an Ivory test project in Canada.

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Saatchi: 'Doing excellent work'
Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, Eukanuba's current shop, continues on Iams, another pet food brand, and other P&G brands such as Folgers, Head & Shoulders, Pampers and Tide. In a statement, P&G Global Marketing Officer Jim Stengel called Saatchi & Saatchi a "valued and longstanding agency partner" that has been "doing excellent work on several P&G brands."

Ivory has been without a roster agency for several years, though it has had project work from independent agency Benchmark Group, Cincinnati.

The Eukanuba account, with billings of less than $10 million, will be handled out of Wieden's offices in Portland Ore., and Amsterdam and Tokyo effective July 1, P&G said in a statement.

"Wieden has a tremendous understanding about relationship building," said Tami Jones, a P&G spokeswoman. "It is no secret that Wieden has been recognized as a highly creative shop -- we think they've got the style we've been looking for for the brand."

Nonroster shops at Cannes
Wieden was among four nonroster shops that presented cases to P&G executives earlier this week at the Cannes International Advertising Festival in France. Others included Publicis' Fallon Worldwide, Omnicom Group's TBWA Worldwide and WPP Group's Red Cell.

P&G began vetting those shops late last year using a computer system developed by the Cincinnati Consulting Consortium that ranks agencies according to awards they've won, their size, revenue and level of competition in advertising contests for a possible assignment it said would involve U.S. brands not currently handled by global roster shops -- though Saatchi, New York, handled Eukanuba.

P&G's Mr. Stengel has made no secret he's considering adding "challenger shops" to P&G's roster and has actively courted Wieden for at least two years, having invited Dan Wieden, the agency's president, to speak to P&G executives in Cannes in 2003 and, when Mr. Wieden couldn't make that engagement, to speak to PP&G executives in Cincinnati later that year.

Another global account
For Wieden, whose package goods experience has centered on beverages such as Powerade, Miller High Life and Belvedere vodka, the win brings another important global blue-chip client to the agency and a brand not tied to its core youth culture -- best exemplified by its array of award-winning work for Nike. It also eventually will pit Mr. Wieden's creative work for the pet-food brand against that of Lee Clow, chairman of TBWA/Chiat/Day, which recently launched a campaign for Masterfoods' Pedigree dog food.

P&G spent $8.4 million last year on measured media for Eukanuba and $8.1 million on Ivory, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

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Alice Z. Cuneo contributed to this report.

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