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Publicis to form group serving Procter & Gamble brands

NEW YORK - Publicis Groupe is to follow the creation of a group specially dedicated to General Motors by setting up an executive committee to work on Procter & Gamble, as agency groups increasingly tailor their operations to the needs of their largest clients.

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The news comes as the consumer goods giant is set to realign its advertising arrangements on a global basis following a deal understood to have been with Publicis. It follows the closure of D'Arcy, which handled P&G brands including Charmin toilet paper and Crest toothpaste.

The P&G committee is expected to include representatives from Publicis' ad agencies Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi and is likely to be overseen by Kevin Roberts, chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi.

It is reported that the move was orchestrated by James Stengel, chief marketing officer of P&G, in what is described as a "second marketing department". The move is being seen as threat to P&G's other roster agencies, which include Grey Global Group and Havas's Arnold Worldwide.

Publicis has been reorganising itself following its acquisition of Bcom3 in September. The agency is now bending over backwards to accommodate its biggest clients, with a tough profit margin to be met in order to please investors.

It has announced it will be setting up an as-yet-unnamed global network of agencies to work specifically on the General Motors account. GM is the biggest advertiser in the US, followed by P&G. In 2000, the Interpublic Group of Companies created a special agency, PentaMark Worldwide, solely to handle DaimlerChrysler's advertising.

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