P&G roster place forces Publicis to give up £10m Velvet business

The Publicis office in London will have to sacrifice its £10 million Velvet toilet tissue account as part of the price of the network's entry on to Procter & Gamble's global roster.

Velvet is a direct competitor to P&G's Charmin, one of a number of paper brands assigned to Publicis in a radical realignment of P&G's $3.8 billion global roster by the world's biggest advertiser.

Publicis in London, which picked up the Velvet creative assignment in September, will complete the television campaign on which it is currently working while alternative agency arrangements are being made.

Publicis sources said talks are being held with Velvet's owner, SCA Hygiene Products. It is likely that the brand will be reassigned to Fallon. The agency, which is owned by Publicis Groupe, narrowly missed out to Publicis in a pitch earlier this year.

Publicis was expected to do well out of the realignment, which was triggered by Publicis Groupe's decision to close its newly acquired D'Arcy network and redistribute its business.

Publicis picks up Charmin from D'Arcy and, in a blow to Partners BDDH in the UK, the Bounty household towels account from the Havas-owned Arnold McGrath, which is being dumped from the P&G roster after a long relationship. However, Publicis will be prevented from making further inroads into P&G because it holds some L'Oreal business.

Publicis is expected to meet P&G demands for continuity on its business in the US by taking a number of key staff on the P&G business at Arnold.

Saatchi & Saatchi has benefited from the strong relationship between Kevin Roberts, its worldwide chief executive, and P&G chiefs by gaining the Crest and Fixodent dental care brands, as well as Folgers coffee, all of which were previously at D'Arcy.

Leo Burnett, like Saatchis a Publicis Groupe subsidiary, also benefits by taking over Mum deodorant, the Always sanpro range and the Bounce and Fairy laundry detergent brands from D'Arcy.

The Always assignment will be a major boost for Burnett in London, which will run the brand globally out of the UK.

Meanwhile, Grey adds Torengos tortilla chips to its Pringles assignment, giving the network all P&G's snacks business.

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