Kimberly-Clark is in the advanced stages of a global
advertising review as it looks to pool its entire creative portfolio
into a single agency.
The personal hygiene products manufacturer, which spent pounds 27
million on advertising in the UK last year, has seen pitches from all
three of its roster networks - FCB, Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter
The move could have very serious implications for FCB, which pulled off
a merger with Banks Hoggins O’Shea only last week and counts
Kimberly-Clark as one of its cornerstone clients. The advertiser spends
pounds 12.5 million a year through the agency, according to MMS.
FCB’s main brands in the UK are Kleenex facial tissues and Andrex toilet
tissue, while O&M handles Huggies and Kotex. JWT does not handle any of
the company’s brands in the UK.
The creative centralisation follows a pan-European media centralisation
which was completed earlier this year when MindShare, the media arm of
the WPP Group, beat Universal McCann, Initiative Media, Carat and CIA
Medianetwork to win the pounds 40 million account (Campaign, 30
A spokeswoman for Kimberly-Clark refused to confirm or deny that the
review is taking place, but a decision is expected before Christmas.
JWT lost its 40-year hold on the Andrex toilet tissue account two years
ago, when Kimberly-Clark handed the business to FCB without a pitch. FCB
has since created a TV campaign for the brand, using one of Britain’s
best-loved advertising icons, the golden labrador puppy, invented by
Harry Reid, the president of FCB International, declined to comment on
the review and referred all calls to Kimberly-Clark.
Kimberly-Clark merged with Scott Paper in 1996 and was forced to sell
the Kleenex toilet tissue brand because the European Commission objected
to its monopoly position. The company opted to keep the Andrex brand,
while Kleenex was sold to the Swedish paper conglomerate, SCA. It is
advertised in the UK by Roose & Partners.