Reckitt and McCann Part Ways Over Interpublic Conflict

27 November 2001

The $300 million global creative account of household cleaning and healthcare giant Reckitt Benckiser is up for grabs after a parting of the ways with McCann-Erickson due to client conflict.

McCann’s parent Interpublic Group counts as one of its clients Reckitt’s rival SC Johnson, whose account is also worth around $300m. The Johnson duties are handled by Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago, whose parent True North Communications was acquired by Interpublic earlier this year [WAMN: 19-Mar-01].

The two clients market several brands that directly compete: d-Con (Reckitt) with Raid (Johnson); Spray’n’Wash with Shout; and Old English with Pledge. This is the second major conflict caused by the True North acquisition which has prompted an agency/client split – PepsiCo shifted some $350m of business from FCB Chicago due to Interpublic’s work for Coca-Cola [WAMN: 24-Sep-01].

McCann has worked as the client's global creative services shop since June 2000. Previously it was a longstanding agency for Reckitt & Colman, which was acquired by Benckiser.

Reckitt did not disclose whether it would launch a review for the duties or shift them without a formal search.

News source: New York Times