Reckitt Benckiser deal puts agencies on alert
By KAREN YATES, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 30 July 1999 12:00AM
Roster agencies are gearing up for a major review next year as the Dutch-owned Benckiser beds down its merger with its UK counterpart, Reckitt & Colman.
Roster agencies are gearing up for a major review next year as the
Dutch-owned Benckiser beds down its merger with its UK counterpart,
Reckitt & Colman.
The merger of the two companies, which have a combined annual adspend of
pounds 25 million in the UK, will create the world’s biggest household
products company, with an annual turnover of more than pounds 3
In the frame for an agency review are McCann-Erickson, which handles
Reckitt’s cleaning brands such as Dettol and Harpic, and Euro RSCG,
which works on over-the-counter remedies such as Lemsip and Disprin.
WCRS and Roose & Partners handle Benckiser’s brands in the UK. Media
groups coming under the spotlight will be Universal McCann, OMD and
Analysts said that although Reckitt is almost twice the size of
Benckiser, the Dutch group looks likely to emerge as the dominant force
in the new group. Benckiser has been more successful and aggressive than
Reckitt, and its chief executive will head the new set-up. Reckitt’s
group director of global marketing, Philip Darnton, is to leave and is
not expected to be replaced. Instead, it is likely someone from
Benckiser will take on his responsibilities.
The good news for agencies is that Reckitt Benckiser has announced that
cost savings will enable it to increase its adspend by 25 per cent.
Benckiser has historically devoted more money to advertising than its
new partner, spending more than 10 per cent of revenue, according to
some estimates, compared with Reckitt’s 6-8 per cent.
A spokesman said it was too early to know which brands and agencies the
new company would retain. He said the merger will be completed by the
end of September, after which there will be an internal review of
everything from staffing arrangements to brands and agencies.
Reckitt Benckiser confirmed it will focus on five core categories and is
likely to shed its non-international brands and non-core activities.
The five core areas are: fabric care, including brands like Vanish;
surface care, such as Lysol; health and personal care; dishwashing
products such as Finish; and homecare, including such brands as AirWick
Over the past 12 months, Benckiser has spent pounds 9.3 million on
advertising in the UK, and Reckitt around pounds 15 million, according
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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