Kimberly-Clark has parted company with its UK media supplier, John
Ayling & Associates, and handed its entire dollars 100 million
pan-European media spend to a single agency network, MindShare.
Aylings, which teamed up with the Optimedia network, lined up for the
pitch alongside WPP’s MindShare, Universal McCann, Initiative Media, CIA
Medianetwork and Carat.
MindShare will now handle the account, which embraces media planning and
buying for all Kimberly-Clark products, including Huggies, Kotex,
Kleenex and Andrex, in ten European countries. WPP’s TV buying unit
holds the Kimberly-Clark television account in the US.
The Network, which is in the process of merging with J. Walter Thompson
to form MindShare, already handled Kimberly-Clark business in France,
Belgium and Switzerland, while Universal had the account in southern
Europe and Holland and BBDO held it in Germany.
However, the UK is Kimberly-Clark’s largest European market and the loss
of the business will be a severe blow to Aylings. Kimberly-Clark is said
to account for around 13 per cent of Aylings’ income, but makes up
almost a quarter of the agency’s billings.
John Ayling said: ’It is galling to lose an existing client where we
have an 11-year track record of proven exceptional performance.’
Speculation that the decision to drop Aylings was foisted on
Kimberly-Clark’s European marketing team by the US has, however, been
According to Oliver Cleaver, Kimberly-Clark’s European media director:
’There was a point at which a number of people in the company wanted to
keep the business with Aylings, but felt this would be a
Cleaver said that the review was intended to improve the efficiency of
Kimberly-Clark’s media spend compared with its competitor, Procter &
Cleaver added there were real advantages to being a founding client of
MindShare, saying: ’It will create trust and control.’
Dominic Proctor, MindShare’s chief operating officer, said the win was
’a ringing endorsement of our innovative positioning in the market’.