RB signs up creative hotshots Droga5 and W+K

This should be interesting – RB (Reckitt Benckiser as was) has hired creative hotshots Droga5 in New York and Wieden+Kennedy HQ to handle three of its bigger global brands: Airwick and Clearasil for Droga5 and Finish for W+K. Interesting that W+K, a Procter & Gamble agency, can take on Finish.

Presumably that means extra business for the pair’s London agency outposts; particularly welcome in the case of Droga5 which has not been exactly over-employed since opening in the UK just over a year ago.

This represents a rather radical departure for RB, not formerly noted for creative advertising.

McCann Worldgroup has also been hired to handle Mucinex and Delsyn medicines.

Unknown-4The three big consumer brands move from Havas Worldwide which has had a torrid time over the past 18 months. RB is its last genuinely global account (it’s keeping a lot of business, for now anyway) following the departure of Volvo to WPP’s Grey. Former Havas CEO David Jones was close to RB and dumping him in favour of Yannick Bollore, son of de facto owner Vincent Bollore, looks more suicidal by the week.

Havas, which recently posted the least impressive organic growth figures of all the major marcoms outfits (the UK performed remarkably well somehow), is putting a brave face on things. Andrew Bennett, global CEO of Havas Worldwide (the former RSCG agency, not the holding company), says: “RB remains a valued and global partner for us. We respect them immensely and fully understand their business decision to want to have more than one agency handle all of their brands.

“We are deeply honoured to still act as a key agency partner and retain the rest of the extensive brand portfolio. We look forward to working with RB and their new partners to build on the success and results that we are proud to have been a part of over the last decade.”

Looking forward to working (and competing) with Droga5 and W+K? I wouldn’t be.

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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.