FCB is thought to be facing a damaging blow to its business after losing its grip on the Kimberly-Clark family care account, worth about 60m across Europe.
FCB has been fighting to retain the business, which includes the 12m Andrex account in the UK handled by recently merged agency Banks Hoggins O’Shea/FCB, in a pitch against J Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather.
It is now widely believed that FCB has been dropped from the shortlist, leaving WPP-owned O&M and JWT to fight it out.
K-C refuses to make any comment on the situation, and the three agencies claim they are unaware of any developments in the pitch.
But sources close to K-C’s corporate office in the US say the decision has been taken to drop FCB.
The agency won the business across Europe in October 1996 from JWT, although JWT retained the work in the US. Last year, FCB brought in former COI chief executive Tony Douglas and it is thought his brief was to ensure FCB retained the account.
K-C’s family care category includes Andrex and Kleenex tissue business, which could be worth up to 150m around the world.