Publicis Groupe is extending its Starcom-branded media operations on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the US, the French-headquartered agency group is setting up a new agency within its Starcom MediaVest Group unit dedicated to media planning for Procter & Gamble.

Branded SMG/P&G, the new shop will open offices in New York and Chicago and will be structured around P&G’s brand categories. Until now, the MediaVest USA network has handled TV planning and buying and Starcom USA has overseen print duties. Publicis stablemate Saatchi & Saatchi has also had a role in broader media planning for the brands in its care.

The move, said Greg Ross, P&G’s North American media director, is “consistent with our plans to move aggressively beyond traditional media thinking and embrace a holistic consumer communications platform.”

It also makes sense for Publicis. “We gain greater efficiencies in managing the media assignments because we won’t have staff in disparate locations simultaneously focused on the same category-specific challenges and opportunities,” commented Starcom Mediavest ceo Jack Klues.

P&G invested around $2 billion (€1.7bn; £1.2bn) in media spend last year; SMG/P&G will handle brands accounting for $1.8bn of this outlay.

• Across the Atlantic, Publicis is taking control of the UK’s Starcom Motive Partnership by buying the majority stake held by Bartle Bogle Hegarty (itself 49%-owned by the French group).

SMP will now be pooled with MediaVest (to be renamed Starcom MediaVest) to form the UK’s largest media agency grouping, boasting billings of $1.25bn. The two brands, however, will continue to operate independently to avoid conflict issues. Management at the two networks remains unchanged.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff