The loss of its worldwide Procter & Gamble business will be a blow
to the Euro RSCG network and throws a spotlight on the chairman, Alain
de Pouzilhac's, plans for world domination.
The news comes at an odd time, a week after Euro acquired Jordan McGrath
(see Global Brief, p11), a US agency known for its domestic P&G business
(which it retains).
However, Euro RSCG suggests the dollars 100 million-billing P&G business
was only about 1 per cent of its total global income. In the UK, the
London agency loses the Clearasil, Biactol and Old Spice accounts; but
in the US, the business includes such monolithic accounts as Head &
There are two ways at looking at such a loss. The positive is relief at
the relatively small financial impact and the opportunities it now
presents Euro among what have been previously conflicting clients in,
say, haircare and cosmetics.
The negative is the missed chance. If Euro RSCG Tatham held Head &
Shoulders and had performed a satisfactory job, why did this account or
others not flow around the network in the manner of other
But Euro does not send much business around the globe. A glance at Euro
RSCG Wnek Gosper makes this clear. Of its major clients, Peugeot-Citroen
comes from Paris (although Citroen was won locally by one of the various
components of today's Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper) along with Danone and
From the US, there is Intel and Nasdaq. Microsoft was won by the UK
agency locally, as was Philips. There is precious little other traffic,
surprisingly, for the world's seventh-largest network.
It's not as if New York's Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro
RSCG (God help the sub-editors of Ad Age and AdWeek) is struggling. It's
a dollars 1.2 billion-billing agency, where the likes of Volvo and Intel
are dwarfed by the dollars 600 million MCI/Worldcom account.
Euro RSCG sneaks into the US top ten. Its situation is wholly different
from its great French rival, Publicis, which - in the wake of its True
North schism - is currently a US also-ran.
However, Euro's lead agencies are successful local agencies lacking a
global image. It has yet to make the leap to the type of network
personified by McCann-Erickson, Grey and Leo Burnett.
But Euro RSCG does not want to be like Grey. It believes there is room
for a different kind of network. It is not alone in stating this - it's
what the other non-Super League players are forced to say. Saatchi &
Saatchi and Bates Dorland will make similar claims. They have to. That
is, until they sell or link up with either each other, or True North or
DMB&B, as they surely must. De Pouzilhac's ambition and achievements are
not in question. His challenge is to demonstrate that Euro RSCG deserves
to be in that fast-emerging Super League.
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