Euro RSCG Confirms Reckitt Victory

NEW YORK Euro RSCG has confirmed winning the global Reckitt-Benckiser business after a review.

Estimated billings on the consolidated account are $600 million.

The Havas-owned shop was one of three roster agencies, along with WPP Group’s JWT and Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson, competing for the business. McCann ultimately withdrew from contention, and the review came down to Euro RSCG and JWT. Sources said the consolidation takes effect in January 2007.

These Reckitt brands move to Euro RSCG following the five-month review: Lysol, Dettol, Harpic, Veet, Gaviscon, Easy Off, Old English, Lemsip, Nurofen and Strepsils. It already handles the client’s Airwick, Electrasol, Vanish, Jet Dry, French’s Mustard, Vanish, Finish, Woolite and Spray’n Wash.

JWT through January will continue to handle Lysol, Harpic, Dettol, Veet, Lemsip and Gaviscon. The network runs the business out of its London office. McCann is already winding down its association with Reckitt, and will be off the roster by August, sources said.

Sources said Euro RSCG, whose existing business is worth about $35 million in annual revenue, will add about $30-35 million as a result of the consolidation, roughly doubling the size of the account. JWT’s piece is estimated at $15-20 million, and McCann-Erickson’s, at about $15 million, according to sources.

Representatives for JWT and McCann declined to comment.

Euro RSCG Worldwide CEO David Jones, who led the pitch with Euro RSCG U.K. chair Kate Robertson, said in a statement, “We are never satisfied with the status quo and in that respect we are very similar to Reckitt-Benckiser. We share their belief in innovation and ideas and recognize one another as genuinely entrepreneurial. Pitch or no pitch we always strive to give it our best.”

JWT joined the Reckitt roster in 2002 after a review triggered by the client’s November 2001 split with McCann. At the end of that review, Reckitt decided to split its global creative business between JWT and Euro RSCG, which landed fabric care, dishwashing and home-care brands such as Vanish, Resolve, Calgon, Woolite, Finish, Electrasol, Jet Dry, Airwick, Calgonite and Mortein.

McCann returned to the Reckitt roster in October 2005 through the latter’s acquisition of Boots Healthcare, whose products such as Clearasil McCann had already handled.

In recent weeks, McCann was told by parent IPG to withdraw from the just-completed review at the insistence of S.C. Johnson (handled by IPG’s Foote Cone & Belding).

That left JWT and Euro RSCG to compete for various brands. Some sources believed, however, that the client did not want to place all of its business in one shop because of what happened five years earlier with McCann.

Euro RSCG’s other clients include Air France, Charles Schwab, Danone Group, Diageo, IBM, Jaguar, L’Oreal, LVMH Louis Vuitton, PSA Peugeot Citroen,
Sanofi-Aventis, Schering-Plough, Verizon and Volvo.

This story updates and replaces an item posted yesterday with client confirmation and other details.