P&G calls pitch to build first below-the-line roster

Procter & Gamble is to create its first roster of below-the-line

networks, a move that could hit the group revenues of its mainstream

roster, which includes Grey, Saatchi & Saatchi and D'Arcy.

P&G has traditionally put the bulk of its direct marketing and

promotional work through Grey Direct, Saatchi & Saatchi and the D'Arcy

agency IMP, while using dozens of smaller agencies in local markets.

P&G is concerned that some smaller agencies in local markets are

producing work that is adversely affecting its brands. While the

creation of the roster is not designed to penalise the three network

agencies, it will open the door for large networks to win a place on the


P&G recently created its first pan-European roster of interactive

agencies and sources close to the FMCG giant suggest that the marketing

services roster is likely to run along similar lines, with five or six

agencies competing for business. P&G has yet to decide whether to create

regional rosters or one global list

A source close to P&G said: "The big thing for P&G is how to make sure

that all activity is 'on brand' and stir up agencies to ensure they do a

good job."

Saatchis is currently P&G's favoured marketing services agency in the

UK, recently winning a large brief to launch a loyalty programme called

"Golden Households" to cross-sell products such as Ariel to its


However, P&G is known to have issued briefs recently to other network

direct marketing agencies besides Grey, Saatchis and IMP.

The household goods giant recently conducted a restructuring process

involving the formation of global business units to market product

categories internationally, backed by local teams implementing the

global strategy.

The decision to create a marketing services roster was taken at P&G's HQ

in Cincinnati with input from its European HQ in Geneva.