P&G Prunes Interactive Agency Roster
"We looked at performance, systems, and overall cultural fit to determine which agencies we'd be working with in the future," said P&G spokeswoman Robin Schroeder. The shift was first reported Thursday by Advertising Age.
While the three agencies that have been delisted from P&G's interactive roster can no longer compete for new accounts or defend accounts in review, each may hold on to their existing accounts, Schroeder said.
Norman Lehoullier, managing director of WPP Group's Grey Interactive, said the decision was a letdown, but insisted the 11-year relationship between Grey and P&G is far from over.
"I'm a little disappointed that we didn't get on the list this time around," said Lehoullier. "We sailed on the qualitative rounds but stumbled a bit on the financial round ... There's a commoditization of creative going on right now."
P&G's cosmetics brand CoverGirl assigned Grey Interactive to a new project just last week, Lehoullier added.
WhittmanHart Interactive did not return requests for comment.
Members of P&G's reconfigured roster include imc2, WPP's Bridge Worldwide, Omnicom's Critical Mass, Avenue A/Razorfish, Digitas, Havas' Euro RSCG, and Resource Interactive. Another new official member of the P&G Interactive team, independent Digitas, already handles Gillette--which P&G acquired last October in hopes of reaching a larger percentage of males.
The changes represent P&G's first major interactive shakeup since 2002, when the product manufacturer slashed its roster from 40 to nine. Less extensive changes have occurred since then, as in June 2005 when Procter & Gamble replaced Bridge Worldwide for Barefoot Advertising to run its Home Made Simple Web site.
Home Made Simple, which Bridge Worldwide had launched five years prior, provides tips and information for homemakers, trial offers, and direct sales of new P&G products before they are rolled out nationally.
Bridge continues to handle interactive work for several other P&G brands, including a Health Expressions online marketing program for health brands modeled on Home Made Simple. The list also includes several Olay products, Cheer and Charmin, Luvs, and Noxzema, as well as P&G.com and its BrandSaver newspaper coupon insert.
The Joy and Bounty brands, which are featured on the Home Made Simple site, remain under Bridge's purview, according to Michael Graham, chief operating officer for Bridge Worldwide. Barefoot oversees Cascade, Dawn, Swiffer, Febreze, and Mr. Clean products on the site.