BBDO Uses Gillette To Gain Leverage

Now that Procter & Gamble’s $57 billion acquisition of Gillette is complete, BBDO is gearing up to expand its relationship with the world’s largest advertiser.

As the lead agency on Gillette’s $800 million global account (the relationship dates back to 1966), the network is Omnicom Group’s best chance to add more brands to its roster.

Sources said BBDO will use its Gillette case history (Right Guard, men’s and women’s shavers, Oral B) as a springboard to make presentations to P&G in the coming months. (Gillette has posted annual sales increases of 5, 9.5 and 13 percent from 2002-2004, per company reports.)

“We’re not anticipating a whole lot of change through the transition period over the next several months,” said P&G rep Tami Jones. “BBDO is already part of the family with the Gillette brands it handles, and there will be no change there. It’s no big secret that BBDO is an agency we feel really good about.”

Just this month, P&G awarded BBDO’s Proximity division in Europe a relationship marketing assignment across 13 countries.

In August, BBDO CEO Andrew Robertson convened a three-day summit of top-office CEOs and network regional leaders to study the packaged-goods marketer: how it works, its business and advertising history and its philosophy and culture, said one executive.

The Cincinnati-based client is known for its agency loyalty. It has been with Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi since 1921, and since 1956 with Grey, which now is part of Unilever-dominated WPP. It also works with Publicis, Leo Burnett and The Kaplan Thaler Group.

Omnicom CEO John Wren has long coveted P&G business, and it’s believed that Jean-Marie Dru and TBWA were setting the stage for a run at the client. But with the Gillette acquisition, BBDO pulled in front as the best suitor.