Finish calls £30m European pitch

LONDON - Reckitt Benckiser has launched a review of its pan-European Finish dishwasher detergent business, estimated to be worth £30 million, as it initiates a new phase in the consolidation of its advertising arrangements.

The pharmaceuticals giant has shortlisted an undisclosed number of agencies to pitch for the business, which spends £6 million annually in the UK. The review follows Reckitt Benckiser's decision to consolidate £200 million-worth of its global creative business into McCann-Erickson World-wide in June 2000. At the time former Benckiser brands, including Finish, remained decentralised.

Finish is handled in the UK by Roose & Partners, although the agency is not understood to have been invited to pitch for the pan-European account. WCRS, which handles the Vanish range, is the third UK agency with a footing on the Reckitt Benckiser roster, alongside Roose and McCann.

The Finish brand's UK spend is divided between four sub-brands. Powerball Detergent Tablets has the majority of the budget, three-in-one dishwasher tablets, dishwasher liquid and detergent tablets take the remainder.

Media planning and buying is not believed to be included in the review. Reckitt Benckiser awarded its £27 million media business in the UK to BMP Solutions in Media in May last year.

The changes in advertising arrangements stem from the £4.8 billion merger between the UK company Reckitt & Colman and its Dutch rival, Benckiser, in 1999.

Neither Reckitt Benckiser nor any of the three roster agencies were available for comment as Campaign went to press.