Starcom MediaVest picks up $800m Gillette account after P&G deal is cleared

NEW YORK - Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest has picked up half of the $800m (£453m) global media buying business for Gillette without a pitch, following the grooming product giant's acquisition by Procter & Gamble, which was cleared last week.

It is understood that P&G has awarded the buying business in the US with more terroritries to follow.

There is to be a separate pitch for the planning business. P&G is to stage a review between roster shops Starcom and Carat for that account.

The move had been expected as far back as February, when P&G and Gillette first revealed their plans for a $57bn merger. The incumbent on the account was WPP Group's MindShare, which counts P&G's great rival Unilever among its clients.

There has also been speculation over the future of the creative account, currently held by Omnicom Group-owned BBDO. Although some have suggested that it could shift to a P&G roster agency, others say the client's increasingly relaxed attitude to client conflict will make it less likely to move out of BBDO.

The P&G deal with Gillette was cleared on September 30 by the US Federal Trade Commission, with the condition it sell its Right Guard deodorant brand, as well as Rembrandt teeth whitening products and the Crest SpinBrush toothbrush business.

However, in a related move, earlier this year, Gillette consolidated its global media planning business with MindShare, handing the WPP media shop the Japanese brief for its Braun and Oral B brands.

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