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(June 13, 2001) DUESSELDORF -- Procter & Gamble Co. has decided to split its $256 million German media planning budget, its biggest in Europe, between Bcom3 Group-owned Starcom, Frankfurt, and Grey Global Group's MediaCom, Duesseldorf.

The appointment is a blow to the third agency pitching, Frankfurt-based Zenith Media, jointly owned by Cordiant Communications Group and Publicis Groupe. Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi used to handle media planning for P&G brands including Pampers, Ariel and Oil of Olay.

P&G's other creative roster shops in Germany handled media planning for other brands with MediaCom being responsible for media buying.

The decision, made by P&G's European media director, Bernhard Glock, comes hot on the heels of the appointment of Paris-based Starcom's assignment of the household giant's $100 million media planning account in France.

P&G is expected to announce pending media planning appointments in Spain, Italy and Scandinavia shortly. -- Dagmar Mussey

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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