P&G quietly consolidates key global brands

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P&G is centralizing its brand planning.
P&G is centralizing its brand planning.

Sources told Campaign staff cuts in Singapore are part of a broader move to put "brand guardians" back in charge of global design

As part of a focus on global rather than regional design, P&G is shifting leadership of key brands in its skin, cosmetics and personal-care unit out of Singapore, resulting in the elimination of some roles.

The reorganization started around July with India, previously led out of Singapore, becoming part of a new region called IMEA (India, Middle East and Africa). Most of the work for that region will be managed in Geneva, with some bits managed out of Dubai, a spokesperson for the company told Campaign Asia-Pacific.

"Nothing we're doing represents a significant change from past practice," the spokesperson said. "The shifts I've talked about are pretty minor and all have been in operation since July 2014 and are essentially to drive more synergies for brands."

In Southeast Asia, P&G has begun to move some brand roles back to local markets. This includes markets like Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

According to a source, the FMCG giant is going back to its old model of functioning with "brand guardians" in the headquarters in charge of global design. For instance, most of the global work for Pantene will now be done out of Geneva.

The less influential regional teams will be relocated to local markets, where ultimate accountability sits with local brand managers. As such, there have been "selective role cuts" within the company.

"We’ve always had brand managers move to individual markets," the spokesperson said. "P&G is now focused more on global design rather than regional design." However, this approach varies from brand to brand, he pointed out. An example of this is haircare brand Rejoice for example, which will continue to operate out of Singapore.

All this has led to a more streamlined reporting structure with local brand managers reporting directly to the global team.

In August, P&G announced plans to divest, discontinue or merge about 90 to 100 brands around the globe over the next year or two to focus on the top 80 brands. CEO AG Lafley said the strategy would create a new streamlined P&G "that will continue to grow faster and more sustainably, reliably create more value."

In June, P&G announced that it was axing the marketing director role across its entire portfolio of brands, and replacing this with brand directors.

This article first appeared on campaignasia.com.

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