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.