P&G pulls up Publicis over L’Oréal conflict

Household goods giant Procter & Gamble has brought heavy pressure to bear on Publicis Groupe after its Zenith Optimedia subsidiary recently won rival L’Oréal’s £1.1bn global planning and buying.

Household goods giant Procter & Gamble has brought heavy pressure to bear on Publicis Groupe after its Zenith Optimedia subsidiary recently won rival L’Oréal’s &£1.1bn global planning and buying.

P&G, which spends &£5.5bn a year globally on marketing and advertising, is forcing the agency to thrash out a solution to the client conflict. The bulk of P&G’s planning and buying outside the UK is handled by Zenith Optimedia’s sister agency, Starcom. The UK business is worth &£207m.

In what is being seen as an expression of public disapproval, P&G associate director of UK media Bernard Balderston says that the agency has made “certain proposals” to the company about how to handle the conflict. He refuses to be drawn on the details of the proposals.

It is thought that Zenith Optimedia has assured P&G that the planning teams for the two rival clients will be based in separate offices.

It is understood that senior figures at P&G’s Cincinnati headquarters have voiced their disapproval at the fact that Publicis Groupe has been handed the planning and buying for one of the company’s main global rivals. Publicis Groupe’s creative agency – called Publicis – is also on L’Oréal’s roster.

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