Publicis to Join P&G Roster

NEW YORK — Publicis here is poised to join the Procter & Gamble roster, the agency’s USA chairman and CEO Bob Bloom said. As the agency parent, Publicis Groupe SA, begins to dismantle D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Bloom said the remaining three global agency networks — Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis and Leo Burnett — would absorb D’Arcy’s P&G accounts, which include Dawn, Always, Crest, Folgers and Charmin.

Bloom said the Publicis network would take on D’Arcy business “where consolidation is not an issue and where together we can serve the client’s best interest.”

He declined to say where each brand would land or give a timeline for the transitions. Nor would he comment on how many staffers Publicis would receive from D’Arcy’s dissolution.

Bloom is moving into a consultant role at the agency now that Publicis Groupe SA has completed its purchase of D’Arcy parent Bcom3. He will be succeeded by D’Arcy Worldwide chairman and chief branding officer Susan Gianinno.

“I will consult with Maurice Levy on those matters he will assign to me,” said Bloom, who has been chairman and CEO of Publicis in the U.S. since Bloom FCA! was acquired by Publicis S.A. in March 1994. “I’ve had 45 years in this business that have been highly predictive and I’m looking forward to something that’s not so predictable.” Bloom joined the Bloom agency in 1956, four years after its founding by his father.

A P&G representative declined to comment on whether Publicis was joining its roster, but did not deny talks with the agency were ongoing. The Cincinnati client is “currently in the process of working with Publicis to determine what’s right for our brands,” the representative said.

Meanwhile, the fate of another global D’Arcy client, Ernst & Young, has been decided. The estimated $50 million account is following Gianinno to her new agency, said Jim Speros, chief marketing officer at the New York client.

Speros said Gianinno assured him that the team of 20 or so D’Arcy staffers (including account managers, planners and creatives) who worked on the business will follow it to Publicis. That was enough to satisfy Speros, who said: “At the end of the day, it’s all about the people,” adding, “As long as they continue, I’m happy.”

Speros said Gianinno, the most senior executive on his business at D’Arcy, called him on Saturday with the news. He seemed to accept the late notice, noting the complexity of what Publicis Groupe was undertaking.

Media duties on the account remain at MediaVest in New York. By going with Publicis, Ernst & Young, which has offices in 140 counties, will have access to a broader network, since Publicis has more offices than D’Arcy, said Speros. D’Arcy has handled the account since 1998.