J&J puts £1.5bn ad account into review

Johnson & Johnson, whose brands range from Benylin to Band-Aid, has put its £1.5 billion global media and planning account into review.

All of its roster shops, which include Interpublic's Universal McCann and Initiative, Omnicom's OMD and WPP's MindShare, are expected to take part in the contest.

The review had been on the cards ever since J&J's acquisition of Pfizer's over-the-counter drug and personal care business in 2006. J&J followed this by dropping Carat, which handled the Pfizer business, from its roster.

Figures published last month showed that J&J's adspend dropped by about 10 per cent last year. The company is believed to be diverting more of its budget into unmeasured media such as search and other direct marketing.

Interpublic did confirm that it would be taking part in the review. "We have been working closely with the client through the integration process," a spokesman said.

The review will not involve Naked, which handles J&J's communications planning in the US, or Mediaedge:cia, which handles interactive buying for Pfizer's non consumer brands. Creative assigments will also be unaffected.