Grey has won a battle of Procter & Gamble agencies to take home Gillette's creative account, P&G has confirmed.
The other finalists were Saatchi & Saatchi and the incumbent, BBDO. The assignment is global. Worldwide media spending on the brand was not available, but in the U.S.—Gillette's No. 1 market—it hovers around $125 million a year.
The account includes both traditional and digital advertising, which BBDO and sister shop Proximity, respectively, have handled for years. In fact, BBDO's relationship with Gillette dates back to 1966. Along the way, the agency created campaigns such as "Medicine Cabinet" for Gilette's Right Guard deodorant in the 1970s and "The Best a Man Can Get," which launched the Atra razor in 1989.
P&G acquired Gillette in 2005 and the deal placed BBDO on P&G’s creative roster. Despite the loss, BBDO remains on the roster, leading creative efforts on Braun, Venus and The Art of Shaving. Braun, like Gillette, is among the 25 P&G brands that generate at least $1 billion in sales each year.
Gillette's review began in September. Two other P&G shops—Wieden + Kennedy and Publicis—competed in early rounds but failed to reach the final stage. Final presentations took place in late March and early April.
When asked what set Grey apart from the other finalists, a P&G representative cited the company's selection criteria going in: an ability to create "heart- and mind-opening" ideas that are rooted in consumer insights and reach men in new ways.
The work that Grey's executives presented in the review was "truly inspirational and they really just did a fantastic job," the rep said. "So, I would say they won the business versus any of the other agencies losing the business. And it was good for us because we had a number of proven P&G partners to look at and all of them brought a lot to the table."
In an internal email trumpeting the win, Grey global CEO Jim Heekin called out thirteen execs who contributed to the pitch, which he described as "one of most high-stakes, most-watched competitions of the year."
"In the ongoing saga of Grey's race to the top," Heekin added, "this is an achievement to celebrate and savor."