- Kimberly-Clark is handing U.S. media-planning and -buying duties to Publicis Groupe, which is setting up a dedicated unit for the consumer packaged goods firm, according to details shared with Marketing Dive. Ad Age previously reported on the news.
- The ad-holding group’s solution is named K-C One and draws on resources from the Epsilon, Spark Foundry and Profitero agencies within the network. Kimberly-Clark has an existing relationship with Epsilon, a data-marketing shop, dating back several years.
- The account switch marks a loss for Mindshare, a division of WPP’s GroupM. Publicis in recent years has focused on building bespoke agencies for clients as part of its larger Power of One strategy.
Publicis notches a major media account win with Kimberly-Clark. The CPG marketer owns a number of household brands, including Cottonelle, Kleenex, Huggies and Scott, and commands hundreds of millions in annual spending power. Kimberly-Clark first put the U.S. business up for review in March, while the account changeover will take place starting in 2024 to support the company’s digital transformation journey, a spokesperson said.
Building a bespoke solution for Kimberly-Clark speaks to growing client demand for streamlined agency offerings that can reduce complexity and provide more integrated products. K-C One will leverage resources from different groups within Publicis, including data-marketing specialist Epsilon, e-commerce shop Profitero and media agency Spark Foundry.
Epsilon continues to stand out as a growth driver for Publicis as marketers look to agencies for help in navigating an increasingly complex digital ecosystem where wresting control of first-party data is a top mandate. CPG brands have also grown increasingly reliant on retail media networks amid the deprecation of third-party cookies, which has changed some of their marketing services needs.
“The shifts in the media landscape and consumer behavior created an opportunity to re-assess our integrated media ecosystem and the requirements needed to accelerate media’s contribution to business growth,” said Luke Kigel, Kimberly-Clark North American vice president of marketing capabilities, in a statement shared with Marketing Dive. “We are excited to bring K-C One on board as they will be a key enabler to improving the performance of our marketing investment.”
Publicis has put a larger focus on agencies designed with a single client in mind through its Power of One strategy. When it won the Inspire Brands media account in 2021, Publicis Media launched a tailor-made unit to handle the QSR’s portfolio, which includes brands like Arby’s, Baskin-Robbins, Dunkin’ and Buffalo Wild Wings. The bespoke approach has not always paid off.
Still, the Kimberly-Clark win builds on strong momentum for Publicis Groupe in 2023. The ad-holding group saw organic revenue, a key metric of agency health, grow 7.1% in the second quarter. Earlier this year, it was awarded a significant chunk of the Pfizer business as the pharmaceutical giant seeks to revamp its marketing.