BATAVIA, Ohio (AdAge.com) -- Procter & Gamble Co. is shaking up its media ranks as longtime North American media chief Greg Ross moves to a new global role, to be replaced by Julie Eddleman, a marketing director who has focused on shopper marketing for the past six years.
Effective Nov. 1, Ms. Eddleman becomes director-North American media and marketing and shopper marketing, overseeing the largest media budget in the U.S. at $2.7 billion last year, according to Kantar Media, plus billions more in shopper marketing and other communications outlays in the U.S. and Canada.
Mr. Ross, 55, will move to the newly created role of director-global media innovation, where he'll focus on P&G's media operations globally and handle media planning for the company's sponsorship of the 2012 Olympics in London, a spokeswoman said in an email statement.
Mr. Ross will report to Dina Howell, VP-global media and brand operations, who is currently on leave, the spokeswoman said. People familiar with the matter said Ms. Howell is expected to move to shopper-marketing agency Saatchi & Saatchi X as CEO by year end, replacing Andy Murray, who's expected to continue as chairman of the shop.
The move for Ms. Eddleman, 40, appears to further elevate the role of shopper marketing in P&G's communications mix. Under Global Brand-Building Officer Mark Pritchard's "store back" philosophy, all marketing ideas are expected to work at store level and be planned "back" through other channels.
Ms. Eddleman will report to Kirk Perry, VP-U.S. operations and marketing in the North American market development organization. She's currently director-shopper marketing and drug-channel marketing, and for the past six years has worked in various shopper-marketing roles. Prior to that, she had experience in general media, where she led the company's efforts through the WNBA among other things, and in line management, including a role as Pringles brand manager.
Mr. Ross, 55, director-North American media, has been in P&G's top U.S. media role since 2001, longer than any executive in recent memory and possibly ever. Prior stewards of the behemoth's massive U.S. media business, such as Rich Wilson or Daryl Simm (now CEO of Omnicom Media Group after leaving a global P&G media role that included oversight of North America in 1998) had been in their posts only three or four years.
Mr. Ross already has been working on some global efforts, so his move "won't be any great surprise," Mr. Pritchard said. Of Ms. Eddleman, he said, "She's a great marketer. She's had a range of experiences. It's just most recently she's been in shopper marketing."
Mr. Ross spent most of his P&G career in Canada prior to his current post, but had also spent three years as the company's top media executive in Latin America.
Unlike prior occupants of the top U.S. media post, Mr. Ross was a director rather than VP. Ms. Eddleman is coming into the post as a director as well, but she's seen by one person close to the company as "likely to get a VP stripe."
Duties of the top North American media post include handling relations with media- and communications-planning shops, leading media innovation and training P&G marketers on media issues. Most individual decisions on media and communications channels come from line and marketing manager and media agencies.
Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group handles the bulk of P&G media and communications planning duties in North America and globally. But other key agencies include Aegis Group's Carat, which handles communications planning for several of P&G's North American businesses. WPP's MediaCom, independent Wieden & Kennedy and Publicis' ZenithOptimedia are among other agencies with communications planning and/or media-buying responsibilities for P&G in North America or globally.