Gillette Cuts to 3 in Creative Review [Updated]

W+K, Publicis out

Gillette is down to three contenders in its North American advertising review after cutting Wieden + Kennedy and Publicis from the process. Still under consideration to lead creative are Saatchi & Saatchi and Grey, both longtime agency partners with Gillette corporate parent Procter & Gamble, and incumbent BBDO, which has been on the marketer’s roster since 2005.

W+K is also a relative newcomer to P&G, after being hired in 2005 to work on Eukanuba and Old Spice. The Portland independent also added Ivory in 2005 and in 2009 was given corporate brand responsibility, with the agency producing the "Thank You Mom" campaign for the 2010 Vancouver winter games and another one for the London summer Olympics last year. As for Publicis, in 2002 P&G made a major brand consolidation under Grey Global and Publicis Groupe, parent of its namesake network and Saatchi.

Participating agencies either did not respond to Adweek inquiries or declined comment, referring calls to Gillette. A P&G rep confirmed the three advancing shops.

The next phase of the review is more testing of agency concepts and additional meetings, according to a source. A decision is expected in April.

Last September, Gillette launched the creative review, which covers the brand’s portfolio of products for men, including blades, razors, shaving cream, aftershave, deodorant and body wash. Media spending on those products totaled nearly $125 million in 2011, according to Nielsen. That figure does not include online spending, and the assignment is for both digital and traditional advertising. The digital incumbent is BBDO unit Proximity, which is also defending its business.