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JWT, Euro RSCG to handle Reckitt Benckiser account. Windfall for HTA.

18-April-2002
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JWT, Euro RSCG to handle Reckitt Benckiser account. Windfall for HTA.

Reckitt Benckiser plc, the world''s leading household cleaning company announced the appointment of J Walter Thompson and Euro RSCG Worldwide. This appointment will cover ‘all countries worldwide.’ Does this pave way for HTA to manage the surface care, health and personal care categories brands, including Lysol, Harpic and Dettol.

The information of this significant global account movement, came in form of a press release by Reckitt Benckiser’s head quarter in London. “Reckitt Benckiser has decided to consolidate all global creative business into two world class agencies. These agreements will cover all creative services for the five core categories in all countries worldwide, with Surface and Health & Personal Care at JWT; and Fabric, Dishwashing and Homecare at Euro RSCG. The company advertising spend is in excess of £300 million,” said the press release. This was later followed by a ‘major account win’ release by JWT.

exchange4media tried to confirm this development in India, but the concerned officials at Reckitt were unavailable for comments. However, a senior source at HTA said, "Given the global alignment and our detailed discussions with Reckitt, we see no reason why this movement should not happen."

Our readers would recall that exchange4media had, in its weekend newsletter dated March 8, 2002 reported the serious dialogues between Reckitt Benckiser and HTA. It seems, our sources were right then!

Reckitt Benckiser decided to split creative duties on its $430 million global account between Euro RSCG and J. Walter Thompson after a four-month review. The two networks bested Ogilvy & Mather in the final round.

According to industry sources, McCann-Erickson was forced to resign the business in November because of a conflict with S.C. Johnson at sister shop Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago.

J. Walter Thompson has been awarded brands in the surface, health and personal care categories, including Lysol, Harpic, Dettol, Veet, Lemsip and Gaviscon. According to sources, the agency will handle approximately 50 per cent of $430 million ad budget of Reckitt Benckiser globally.

Peter A Schweitzer, President & CEO, J Walter Thompson said, “ the decision by Reckitt Benckiser was influenced by JWT’s ability to generate superb consumer and strategic insights, outstanding creativity and the global reach and quality of our network.”

On the other hand Euro RSCG will handle advertising for fabric care, diswashing and home-care products, including the Vanish, Resolve, Calgon, Woolite, Finish Electrasol, Jet Dry, Airwick, Calgonit and Mortein brands. Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG already oversees Reckitt''s $15 million condiment account in the U.S.

Commenting on the decision, Elio Leoni Sceti, Executive Vice President Category Development, said "Reckitt Benckiser''s track record is founded on a deep belief in the value and power of our core brand equities. Our strategy of continuous innovation supported by excellent consumer communication has served us well, and our creative agency relationships play an important role in this success. Equity advertising is a major engine of our growth and we believe that both Euro RSCG and JWT will contribute greatly to this from their consumer and strategic insights as well as their outstanding creativity and global reach.”

This global alignment will surely impact one of the biggest account movements in India, in recent times. On how things evolve from here on, we’ll keep you posted.

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