BBH, PHD Take Global Lead on Newell Rubbermaid

Creative, media consolidation affects dozens of agencies

Newell Rubbermaid is consolidating its lead global agency roles for advertising and media buying.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty will lead creative for the conglomerate out of its New York office, with help from the shop's offices in London, Sao Paolo, and Shanghai. PHD will handle media buying.

Atlanta, Georgia-based Newell Rubbermaid owns a broad range of brands, including Sharpie, Paper Mate, Rubbermaid, Irwin, Lenox and Calphalon.

The new relationships span all of Newell Rubbermaid's advertising for all of its brands, including business-to-business marketing. The brand spent more than $265 million on global advertising and promotions expenses in 2012, according to its 10-K filing.

The company sells products in more than 100 countries, but the United States is its core market.

The shift impacts dozens of agencies that had worked for the company around the world. In the U.S., for example, Interpublic Group's Carmichael Lynch created ads for Rubbermaid and Calphalon, as well as home decor brands Levelor, Kirsch, and Amerock. IPG's DraftFCB worked on Sharpie and Omnicom's Energy BBDO handled Paper Mate. Roth Partners was the agency for Graco, Gyro created ads for Rubbermaid Commercial Products and Sullivan Higdon Sink handled Lenox, and Hilmor, a tool brand.

The move follows the entrance of a new cast of characters atop Newell Rubbermaid. Michael Polk, a veteran of Unilever, joined Newell Rubbermaid as its CEO in 2011. In fall of 2012, Richard Davies, another Unilever alum, arrived as its chief marketing officer. Unilever is a client of both BBH, which works with Axe, and of PHD, which plans and buys media for a range of the packaged-goods giant's brands.

"For the first time, we are aligning all our brands and categories behind one set of agency partners to drive big ideas that create a strong point of difference for consumers," said Davies, in a statement. "BBH and PHD are the best in the business at what they do."

Newell Rubbermaid plans to invest more in marketing more of its brands globally, added spokseman David Doolittle, especially in emerging markets like Brazil and China, as well as Mexico and other parts of Asia.

"We have good footholds in those markets but we're not there with all our categories," said Doolittle. "We're making significant investments to either introduce our brands in these markets or grow the brands that are already there. One of the ways we're going to do that is with bigger more global campaigns through our new partners."