Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO is set to take on a brand whose UK market
leadership it once sought to destroy, as a result of a major
international agency realignment by the battery manufacturer,
Duracell’s decision to switch its full-service pounds 50 million
European and US assignments into the BBDO network ends Ogilvy & Mather’s
14-year tenure of the business. The move gives Abbott Mead and its
sister media agency, New PHD, a billings boost of more than pounds 2
The move has ironic repercussions in the UK, where Abbott Mead handled
the account of Duracell’s biggest rival, Energizer, until it moved into
Bates Dorland last year (Campaign, 23 May 1997).
The new arrangement is part of plans by Gillette, which bought Duracell
in September 1996, for BBDO to repeat the success of the brand
advertising it carried out for the toiletries company.
Julian Ingram, BBDO Europe’s business development director, said the
Duracell work was likely to be based on a central idea although it was
probable that teams in the UK and the US would work on the account.
’There will be one creative idea unless there are marketing differences
between the US and Europe which we haven’t yet discovered,’ he
Peter Hoffman, the newly appointed president of commercial operations
for Duracell’s North Atlantic group, claimed Gillette’s long-running
’the best a man can get’ campaign, produced by BBDO, had worked
successfully across the North Atlantic market. He said: ’Duracell sees
BBDO’s capabilities as having immediate benefits to the company’s
The change is the culmination of a restructure of Duracell’s marketing
operations in the US, Canada and 14 Western European countries.
The assignment adds creative work to BBDO’s existing media buying
responsibilities for Duracell in the US.