It’s split ends for Saatchi, Helene Curtis; global branding prompts Saatchi to resign $80-mil. account to focus on P&G products

Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising/N.Y., having gotten caught in an international client crossfire between mighty Procter & Gamble and global-minded Helene Curtis, is ending its 10-year relationship with Helene Curtis, putting an $80-million account in play.
Helene Curtis on Friday said it is looking to hire a new agency to handle many of its consumer brands and that it has already narrowed the search to a few “creative powerhouses” with which the company already has relationships. Those agencies could include D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Bozell, said sources. DMB&B handles the client in Scandinavia, and Bozell Palmer Bonner handles in Canada.
The conflict between P&G and Helene Curtis under one Saatchi roof had become untenable as the consumer goods company stepped up international expansion, sources said.
Saatchi handles P&G haircare products in Europe and Asia, including such venerable brands as Head ‘N Shoulders and Vidal Sassoon. In the U.S., New Zealand and Australia, Saatchi had some $80-million worth of Helene Curtis hair care products including Finesse, Salon Selectives Degree and Vibrance.
“We were finding that their needs and the needs of our other clients were coming into conflict. We had to designate who our global hair care client would be,” said Richard O’Brien, Saatchi & Saatchi vice chairman.
Added Richard W. Frank, Helene Curtis vp, “As we and Saatchi & Saatchi continue to expand our businesses internationally, we are no longer able to accommodate each others global needs.”
Sources said a decision is due soon, possibly in early December. Other assignments are not affected.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)