McCann-Erickson Parts Ways With Reckitt Benckiser

NEW YORK–McCann-Erickson WorldGroup has parted ways with Reckitt Benckiser because of a perceived conflict with S.C. Johnson, a client representative confirmed.

The global account has estimated billings of about $300 million. The conflict comes from the estimated $300 million global S.C. Johnson account at Foote, Cone & Belding. Both agencies are owned by the Interpublic Group.

“It’s about those two clients not wanting to exist under what they consider the same roof,” a source said, adding that IPG and McCann executives had been trying for weeks to persuade the Reckitt client to remain at the agency.

Tom Corran, a representative for the London-based client said, “We are in the process of looking at alternatives [to McCann].” He declined to comment on whether the account would be open for review or if it would move to another agency without a review process. When asked if Reckitt executives were speaking to review consultants, Corran replied, “Not that I’m aware of. We will clearly look to find the best solution for the Reckitt-Benckiser business. We’ll look at a range of options.”

Sources said conflict discussions ensued between IPG and Reckitt executives soon after IPG acquired FCB parent True North this past summer [Adweek, Oct. 29]. McCann and FCB each handle brands that are direct competitors. For example, FCB has S.C. Johnson’s Shout, Brite, Pledge, Raid and Fantastik, while McCann handles Reckitt’s Spray ‘n’ Wash, Mop & Glo, Old English, d-Con and Lysol.

McCann executives declined comment. IPG executives could not immediately be reached.