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WPP's MindShare scoops £400m Gillette media business

LONDON - WPP Group has scored a major coup as its MindShare media agency is understood to have been awarded Gillette's £400m global media buying account, despite not having previously worked for the shaving giant.

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MindShare pitched against Gillette's two incumbent agencies -- Omnicom Group's OMD, which handled the bulk of the business overseeing the UK, Europe and North America, and the Interpublic Group of Companies-owned Universal McCann, which handled the business in Latin America and Asia Pacific.

The non-roster agency MindShare was invited on to the pitch list because fellow WPP agency Ogilvy & Mather had previously worked for the Gillette-owned Duracell. The review was being overseen by vice-president of marketing services Dick Cantwell and European media director Michael Winkler.

Gillette has been consolidating its advertising arrangements as part of a strategic sourcing initiative covering all its procurement and suppliers. Last year, BBDO won the £53m consolidated account for Oral-B, Gillette's dentalcare brand.

Gillette, famous for its "the best a man can get" slogan, currently spends £10m annually through OMD in the UK, where the agency has worked on the account since 1990.

WPP's share price was already up 4.5% in early trading to 445.2p, having recently fallen as low as 401p.

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