We predicted two weeks ago that Procter & Gamble, along with numerous other big global advertisers, would be reviewing its media account in the wake of alleged rebate scandals in the US and a stated desire to slash $500m off its agency fees.
Now Ad Age agrees with us, reporting that P&G will announce an official review of its $3bn North American media business next week.
Where North America leads, other markets around the world will follow.
P&G uses Publicis Groupe’s Starcom MediaVest to handle the bulk of its media in North America, with Dentsu Aegis’ Carat looking after Canada. Starcom is also facing a review of its US Coca-Cola media business and, with Publicis Groupe tightening its belt after a rocky 2014, the prospect of losing P&G’s valuable media business is the last thing it needs.
Such anxieties won’t be improved by the presence of Carat on the P&G media roster. Carat has an enviable record in picking up big global media accounts, having won General Motors and most of Microsoft in recent years. Carat has transformed Dentsu’s fortunes since owner Aegis was bought for £3.6bn, making the Japanese giant a genuine world player for the first time with over 50 per cent of its business now coming from outside Japan.
Dentsu will throw whatever is the Japanese equivalent of a kitchen sink into this one, as will the other big holding company-owned media networks.
P&G could be getting its media for no fees at all for the next year or two.