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P&G chooses Publicis for £210m UK media

Publicis Media’s Starcom has retained Procter & Gamble’s £210m media account with an expanded brief, winning press buying among other tasks from WPP/GroupM’s MediaCom. P&G is the UK’s second biggest media account after Sky.

Aegis’ Carat and new Omnicom media agency Hearts & Science (which launched with P&G’s giant US media business, won from Publicis) also pitched.

The win is a big coup for Publicis Media’s Steve King (above) and his team who, just a while ago, were taking a kicking, not least from P&G.

All the losers will be anxiously examining the tea leaves to see what this decision means. WPP’s giant MediaCom is hardly having the best of times, having lost Volkswagen globally last year. Carat isn’t converting big global pitches. Hearts & Science’s London operation is now looking rather bereft as it was established, in part, to pitch for P&G. Does P&G’s decision to go elsewhere mean that its jury is out on US H&S’ supposedly data-driven approach?

Maybe it just means Publicis was better on the day. But it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some changes at the top levels of the losers.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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