Reckitt Benckiser’s $680 million global creative review, which began a few months ago, now does not have McCann Erickson in the reckoning. McCann has been forced to pull out of the global advertising account review on account of client conflict.
The global creative business of Reckitt Benckiser till now was serviced by JWT, McCann Erickson and Euro RSCG. To put things in perspective when Reckitt Benckiser completed the acquisition of Boots Healthcare International for approx $331 million, the deal saw Reckitt, which owns global brands such as Lemsip, Dettol, Gaviscon and Finish, also acquire the Clearasil, Strepsils, Nurofen, Optrex and E45 brands. This acquisitions added McCann to Reckitt’s roster agency list.
The primary reason for Reckitt to call for this global creative account review was because it was looking to reduce its roster agencies from three to two.
Though there is no official word out on this and nothing whatsoever for the Indian market, it is learnt that Interpublic Group CEO had asked the McCann Worldgroup CEO to withdraw McCann Erickson from last week’s pitch for the global creative account because of a conflict with the SC Johnson account, which is handled by its Interpublic Group sibling FCB.
Incidentally, McCann was Reckitt’s lead global agency until November 2001, five months after IPG bought FCB parent True North for $1.6 billion. McCann, thus, had to resign the Reckitt account because of the SC Johnson conflict, and the latter had an understanding with IPG that prohibited its agencies from taking on competing business from Reckitt.
Reckitt Benckiser (India) Ltd’s officials could not be contacted, and all Prasoon Joshi, National Creative Director, McCann Erickson India had to say on the entire issue was “No comments”.
Reckitt Benckiser India Ltd is a 51 per cent subsidiary of Reckitt Benckiser Plc and has a wide product portfolio of consumer brands in antiseptic, household care, toiletries, laundry, insect repellents and shoe care categories. Dettol, Mortein, Robin, Harpic, Lizol, Colin, Cherry Blossom are among its well-known brands.
In India, Reckitt Benckiser is serviced by Euro RSCG and JWT, with the former handling household brands like Mortein and Cherry Blossom and detergent products – Vanish and Robin liquid. The other products in Reckitt Benckiser India’s portfolio are handled by JWT. In India, the media account is handled by MPG.