Since assuming power, Euro RSCG Tatham's ruling troika has made clear the need to reinvent the agency, long known as a stolid packaged goods shop.
That strategy, which has led to a more diversified client base, became not only sensible but necessary and inevitable with Procter & Gamble's decision to pull the five brands handled by the Euro RSCG network--a move the Chicago agency estimates will cost it about $75 million in projected 1999 billings.
"This is not a surprise in that P&G has been straightforward in its plan to consolidate with global agencies," said Mary Baglivo, Tatham chief executive officer. "While Procter was an important part of our responsibilities, we've focused on new clients."
New business Tatham has picked up in the past 18 months includes Red Lobster, Midas and Orville Redenbacher, as well as products for Hunt-Wesson and Wal-Mart's Sam's Club.
In a statement no doubt made with the knowledge that P&G's move was imminent, Tatham president Gary Epstein said last month, "We're not a Procter & Gamble agency anymore." Epstein, Baglivo and Robert Welke, chairman and chief creative officer, have led the shop's new business efforts.
Still, while the figure has decreased over the years, Baglivo estimated P&G accounts for about 12-15 percent of the agency's total billings, and she could not discount the possibility of layoffs when the business moves out April 1.
In the end, Cincinnati-based P&G's departure from Tatham resulted from its lack of confidence in the Euro RSCG global network, sources said. P&G moved the Tatham brands to three agencies that are more established with the client globally: Saatchi & Saatchi, which picked up Head & Shoulders in North America and Old Spice in North America and Europe; Grey Advertising, which added Mr. Clean in the U.S.; and Leo Burnett, which was handed Metamucil in the U.S. and Europe.