P&G reassessing PR work for baby, feminine care brands

Damon Jones, Procter & Gamble's director of external communications, said the company is reassessing agency partners for its baby and feminine care segment and other businesses globally.

Image from P&G feminine care brand Always' #LikeAGirl campaign
Image from P&G feminine care brand Always' #LikeAGirl campaign

CINCINNATI: Procter & Gamble is reviewing its PR, marketing, and media requirements for its baby and feminine care segment, along with a number of its other businesses globally.

The CPG behemoth's baby-care brands include Pampers and Luvs; brands in its feminine care portfolio include Always and Tampax.

P&G’s newly minted director of external communications Damon Jones told PRWeek via email the company is taking a broad look at how it can best leverage agency partners to strengthen its brand-building efforts and drive greater reach, higher frequency, and greater effectiveness at less overall cost.

As part of this, he said P&G is "looking at different options for our baby and feminine care business globally."

PR firms are included in this effort, he added. Procter & Gamble works with agencies including MSLGroup, Citizen Relations, Marina Maher Communications, DeVries Global, Ketchum, and BlueFocus.

Reps from MSLGroup and Ketchum declined to comment on the matter. PRWeek also reached out to reps from other PR firms P&G works with, but none were immediately available for comment.

Jones said it is not yet clear when P&G will make a final decision and did not provide further details on the review, but it is believed the reviews are well-advanced.

P&G won multiple awards this year for its Always #LikeAGirl campaign, including the PRWeek Awards Campaign of the Year. The PR element of the 'Turning an Insult into a Confidence Movement' activation was led by MSLGroup.

Citizen Relations works on P&G's Pampers brands.

Procter & Gamble's move comes after a company spokesperson told PRWeek in August it is slashing the number of agencies it works with globally in PR, advertising, and marketing by 40% to improve spending efficiency across the business.

In April, P&G CFO Jon Moeller said on an earnings call that cutting back on its agency roster could result in cost savings of up to $500 million.

Amid a reduction in its global brand portfolio, P&G also told PRWeek in September it had expanded its global communications team from two directors to five.

As part of the comms team restructure, Jones, who has worked at P&G for more than 18 years, took on his new position on August 1 after serving as Asia communications director in Singapore since 2012.

Jones succeeded Paul Fox, who moved to the newly created role of M&A communications director. Jamie Endaya, previously associate comms director for P&G Asia, took Jones’ former role.

Greg Icenhower transitioned from corporate communications director to executive comms director; and corp comms team member Patrick Blair became associate director of internal communications. P&G also appointed communications director for India, the Middle East, and Africa, Antonio Boadas, as director of global operations.

Jones, Blair, and Boadas – along with Fox and Icenhower, report to Craig Buchholz, VP of company communications. Meanwhile, Buchholz and Kelly Vanasse, who oversees global brand communications, both report to global brand officer Marc Pritchard.

All five comms directors are based in P&G’s Cincinnati, Ohio headquarters.

Another major change at the company occurred in July, when P&G agreed to sell 43 hair and beauty brands to Coty for $12.5 billion, a move Jones referred to in an interview at the time as the company’s "most significant business transformation." The brand cull was a part of P&G’s plan, announced in October 2014, to ax its 100 least profitable brands.  

In September, Giovanni Ciserani became the group president of global fabric, home, baby, and feminine care. He was formerly the group president of global fabric and home care. Before he took on the position, Martin Riant, the global head of the paper products business, oversaw Pampers diapers, Always feminine care and Charmin toilet paper brands. Riant stepped aside on October 1 and retires in June, according to media reports.

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