Grey drops Oxy in bid for Clearasil

The Grey network has resigned its global Oxy spot treatment account, sparking speculation that it is in line to pick up the rival Clearasil business from Procter & Gamble.

The Grey network has resigned its global Oxy spot treatment

account, sparking speculation that it is in line to pick up the rival

Clearasil business from Procter & Gamble.



Oxy, a SmithKline Beecham line, has proved a successful account for

Grey, spending dollars 20 million to dollars 30 million a year globally,

and providing a welcome opportunity for creative advertising.



But SmithKline is understood to be preparing to approach agencies about

the business, after Grey informed the client that it could no longer

work on Oxy. Grey’s other SmithKline brands, including Ribena, Horlicks

and Macleans, appear to be unaffected by the move.



A SmithKline spokesman declined to comment, but sources close to the

business said Grey had dumped Oxy because its New York headquarters had

P&G’s dollars 40 million Clearasil account in its sights.



Clearasil was the only brand left unassigned after P&G axed Euro RSCG

from its roster earlier this year (Campaign, 20 January). At the time,

P&G said Euro’s dollars 100 million worth of brands would be distributed

among its four big roster agencies - Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett,

DMB&B and Grey.



Saatchis picked up Head & Shoulders and Old Spice deodorant and

aftershave, Grey won Mr Clean detergent, and Leo Burnett took the

Metamucil range of laxative and dietary supplements. Only Clearasil was

left hanging.



Steve Blamer, chief executive of Grey London, was unavailable for

comment as Campaign went to press, while management at Grey New York

declined to comment.



But well-placed sources said initial discussions had already begun on

re-housing the Oxy account, and that an announcement on Clearasil was

expected soon.



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