Johnson & Johnson reviews $3.3bn global media account

NEW YORK - FMCG giant Johnson & Johnson has put its $3.3bn (£1.7bn) global media account up for pitch.

The New Jersey-based company is looking at the possibility of consolidating the worldwide brief, along with its newly acquired Pfizer business, maker of impotence drug Viagra.

The company is understood to spend over $2bn in the US and a further $1bn in international markets.

Incumbents on the account included Interpublic Group's media agencies Initiative and Universal McCann, Omnicom Group's OMD, and WPP Group's MindShare.

Interpublic has already said it will look to participate in the pitch process. Its bid is expected to be headed up by Nick Brien, the chief executive of Universal McCann, who is also the media director on Johnson & Johnson, and Johnson globally.

On the client side, the review is due to be overseen by Kim Kadlec, Johnson & Johnson vice-president of worldwide media, and Brian Perkins, vice-president of corporate affairs.

In November last year, Johnson & Johnson dropped Aegis-owned agency Carat from the Pfizer account. It had been the lead agency on the Pfizer Consumer Healthcare account.

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said: "The recent acquisition of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare created an opportunity to re-evaluate our media agency relationships and enhance the ability of our brands to effectively communicate and leverage investment across the rapidly changing and increasingly diverse media landscape."

Communications planning agency Naked, which handles communications planning in the US, and the WPP-owned Mediaedge:cia, which handles interactive buying for the non-consumer Pfizer brands, are not expected to be affected by the review of the business.

The review had been anticipated due to the $16.6bn acquisition of Pfizer's pharmaceutical and personal products in October last year.

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