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International: J&J Puts $3 Billion Global Media Account in Play<br>Universal McCann, Initiative, OMD and MindShare Expected to Give Chase

31-March-2007
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International: J&J Puts $3 Billion Global Media Account in Play<br>Universal McCann, Initiative, OMD and MindShare Expected to Give Chase

It's official: Johnson & Johnson has put its $3 billion global media-buying and -planning account into review.

A global media review has been anticipated since J&J began the $16.6 billion acquisition of Pfizer's over-the counter drug and personal-care business in October 2006.

Current roster shops expected to participate include Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann, which handles a large share of the media planning and buying in North America, and its sibling Initiative; Omnicom Group's OMD, which handles planning and buying for various brands globally; and WPP Group's MindShare, which covers some planning and buying for acquired Pfizer brands in most regions outside of the U.S.

Advertising Age first reported news of the review in November 2006.

Independent media agency Naked, which handles communications planning in the U.S., and Mediaedge:cia, which handles interactive buying for non-consumer Pfizer brands, are not expected to be affected.

A global media review has been anticipated since J&J began the $16.6 billion acquisition of Pfizer's over-the counter drug and personal-care business in October 2006. Within the first month, J&J dropped Aegis Group's Carat -- which had the Pfizer business -- from the collective roster, furthering speculation that the company has been looking to consolidate and cut costs.

In the U.S., J&J spent $1.3 billion in measured media last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Meanwhile, as global sales rose 6% last year, global ad spending decreased by 10%. In the U.S. spending dropped twice as much, although it is believed to have been shifted to unmeasured media. The company has also announced it will sit out this year's upfront, which suggests it may be looking to stay flexible enough to further explore nontraditional media by not being locked into expensive TV commitments.

Source: Adage

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