Leo Burnett scoops £165 million Procter & Gamble media weeks before merger

Leo Burnett's media department has emerged triumphant in the £200 million review of Procter & Gamble's media business, the biggest account review in UK media, just weeks before the department merges with media specialist, MediaVest.

Leo Burnett's media department has emerged triumphant in the £200 million review of Procter & Gamble's media business, the biggest account review in UK media, just weeks before the department merges with media specialist, MediaVest.

Burnetts' media department, headed by David Connolly and Richard Beaven, walked off with the TV and outdoor prizes, worth around £160 million and £5 million respectively.

The £7 million press buying taks went to MediaCom while the radio account, worth about £2 million, went to MediaVest. Burnetts and MediaVest worked together on the pitch in advance of a full merger of the two operations in the UK.

The result is a major blow to Saatchi & Saatchi, which previously shared the TV scheduling task with Burnetts, where the account is run by Tony Emment. Saatchis pitched for all of the P&G media accounts, but emerged empty-handed, losing an estimated £1 million in income. Mediapolis, another P&G roster agency, pitched for the press and TV accounts but also failed to convert.

A formal statement from Procter & Gamble confirmed the appointments "following an extensive review process of our agency scheduling arrangements." The new tasks will be in place by early 1999.

The decision effectively centralises the vast majority of the P&G media business into a single agency -- the merged Burnetts/MediaVest operation -- and will bring the new agency's billings to around £500 million, making it the second largest media agency in the UK.

The UK P&G review, led by the company's media director, Bernard Balderston, represents the last stage in a global overhaul of P&G's media business.





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