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Advertising Age reports that "Procter & Gamble Co. plans to divest, discontinue or merge more than half of its brands globally as it restructures to focus on its top 70 to 80 brands."

CEO AG Lafley, who returned to the company about 14 months ago, said on a conference call last week that the move is "an important strategic step forward that will significantly streamline and simplify the company's business and brand portfolio … We will become a much more focused, much more streamlined company of 70 to 80 brands."

According to the story, "That move will mean divesting, discontinuing or finding partners for another 90 to 100 brands in P&G's current portfolio, which also implies major consolidations of agency and other marketing-services brand assignments in the future."

The Wall Street Journal writes that "the move is a major strategy shift for a company that expanded aggressively for years. It reflects concerns among investors and top management that P&G has become too bloated to navigate an increasingly competitive market."

No timeline has been established for the divesting process, but expectations are that it could take a year or more, "governed by our ability to create value," CFO Jon Moeller says.
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