In one of the biggest advertising upsets of the year Procter & Gamble is moving the global men's Gillette grooming account to Grey Global Group.
The decision, following a seven-month review, ends a relationship with BBDO going back 80 years. BBDO's work is perhaps best known for "The Best a Man Can Get" tagline (above) which first appeared in a 1989 Super Bowl ad.
The switch , announced today by P&G, "eliminates the biggest piece of BBDO and Omnicom Group business from the world's biggest ad spender," said AdAge. The coup will bring a smile to WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell, who last week was bemoaning a one per cent slippage in North America in the first quarter.
The finalists for Gillette were Saatchi & Saatchi and incumbent, BBDO. Eliminated earlier were Wieden & Kennedy, of Portland, and Publicis Worldwide, of New York.
The assignment is global.
Kantar Media estimate that P&G spent $146 million last year in the U.S. alone on measured media for Gillette men's grooming products.
BBDO will keep Venus women's razors, the Art of Shaving, and the billion-dollar Braun shaving brand globally.
The review in September began with North American general and digital advertising but it included spec global work.
Patrice Louvet, president-global grooming and shaving, told AdAge, "The goal from the get-go was a global intervention. We wanted to focus the work on North America first and foremost, because we felt it was the highest bar to achieve."
Gillette men's razors, blades, shave prep, skin care and deodorant are all part of the task.
The Gillette shaving business is roughly twice as profitable as the rest of P&G's portfolio, said AdAge.
"We were incredibly impressed with all of the work," said P&G Global Brand Building Officer Marc Pritchard.
"This was not an easy decision. But Grey's work stood above the rest, inspired us the most and best delivered what we were looking for."
"BBDO is a world-class agency.They created some of the most memorable communication in the history of marketing to men. And they'll continue to serve as an important partner on several of our other businesses."
BBDO has handled Gillette since it acquired the Clyne Maxon agency in 1966. Maxon itself first won the business in 1931.