P&G Moves Toward 'One Agency, One Brand, All Disciplines' Policy

21 November 2007

CINCINATTI: Last week this journal reported a new Publicis Groupe venture: Insight Factory, a one-stop-shop for all the conglomerate's digital, media and creative skills. But what we didn't mention was that a top Publicis client is Procter & Gamble.

One week earlier, we quoted P&G's UK marketing director Roisin Donnelly, who urged an industry talkfest to "adopt a consistent approach that focuses on the consumer" in order to produce campaigns that work across many different channels.

Could it be that the Cincinnati colossus is trying to tell the ad industry something?

You betcha bottom line it is!

The planet's largest advertiser is currently piloting a scheme that designates one agency as a "single point of contact" on each brand.

A move that, as WARC News observed when reporting the Insight Factory launch, regresses to the 50s and 60s when even the smallest agencies claimed to deliver a total service portfolio.

The P&G pilot involves each of its agency holding companies (Publicis, WPP and Omnicom) along with independent Wieden & Kennedy. Each is now the "single point of contact" for a given brand.

The program involves new assignments announced over the past year, save for a recently-expanded role for WPP's Grey Global Group on Pringles.

The objective, says P&G, is to trial changes to its agency model in a bid to improve collaboration and marketing efficiency, while reducing the number of transactions for its brands and marketers.

Designated multi-discipline units within the three holding companies will each handle all aspects of a different brand: Oral B (Publicis); Old Spice (W&K); and Eukanuba (Omnicom's Integer Group).

By contrast, a single P&G brand and its marketing team might currently work alongside more than a dozen media, advertising, promotion and design shops in the US alone.

Will this lead to an industry-wide move by the household products giant to consolidate all disciplines within a single shop? It ain't necessarily so, says a P&G spokeswoman.

But the bookies aren't taking bets.

Data sourced from AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff