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Advertisers opt out of AOR model; dole out project work

NEW YORK: It is a minor trend which could be picking major momentum and soon changing the landscape of media buying across the globe - roster pruning.

Major FMCG advertisers in the US are giving preference to ad firms which handle high profile brand-related work on a project basis. An adage report states that a case in point is Procter & Gamble's (P&G) recent move - P&G chose Cincinnati based Barefoot Advertising instead of Publicis Groupe's Kaplan Thaler for its Daily Defense brand of shampoo.

Several media observers feel that agencies will have to change their model in order to cope up with this changing trend. The experts feel that marketers who shift focus to promotion-based drives often prefer local, smaller regional agencies which are more flexible. Also, the mode of compensation in such cases changes to incentive-based compensation. Also, they feel that the AOR model becomes insignificant when the traditional media vehicles will not be used for attaining certain short term objectives.

Reports indicate that Unilever has also been increasingly indulging in roster pruning and has quietly ended AOR assignments for some of its oral care, hair care and cosmetic brands. The rationale given by Unilever was that these moves were appropriate for brands that don't require regular TV advertising support.

What is notable is the fact that roster pruning is a trend which gets minimal attention because neither the client nor the agency wish to talk about the exercise.

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