Glaxo SmithKline asks three to pounds 40m pitch

Glaxo SmithKline UK has confirmed that it is kicking off a review

to centralise its pounds 40 million media planning and buying business

for its consumer healthcare and nutritional healthcare brands.

The healthcare giant, which was formed by the merger of Glaxo Wellcome

with SmithKline Beecham last year, has asked its three incumbent

agencies to pitch for the account.

The UK review follows consolidation of its pounds 406 million US media

buying account into MediaCom in March, after Grey Global's four-way

pitch against its other incumbents WPP Group's Media Edge, Havas

Advertising's Media Planning and Interpublic Group's Media Direct


The review was initiated to streamline decision-making and improve GSK's

media buying efficiencies.

In the UK MediaCom is responsible for former SmithKline brands such as

Beechams' Cough, Cold and 'Flu, Lucozade and Ribena. Universal McCann is

the incumbent on Glaxo's business, which includes brands such as Zovirax

cold sore cream and Lemsip.

CIA works on the brands acquired from Stafford Miller, which include

Settlers, Tums, Sensodyne and Nytol.

GSK has said the pitches will take place in August and a decision is

expected by September. John Blakemore, the advertising director for GSK

UK consumer healthcare and nutritional healthcare, will oversee the

review. The appointment will take effect from the beginning of next


The healthcare giant is poised to reveal a major corporate restructuring

with a number of marketing jobs thought to be under threat as part of

the restructure. The revised structure will aim to boost the company's

productivity and profitability.

Completion of the Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham deal went

through in December, almost a year after the pair agreed to merge.