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
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