J&J to review global roster

Bodycare giant enters top-secret discussions with roster and non-roster networks.

Johnson & Johnson is talking to holding companies about its international advertising arrangements.

The forthcoming talks are thought to encompass both media and creative duties. Its global adspend is estimated to be £320 million. Campaign revealed in February that the bodycare giant was reconsidering its European media account, held by IPG's Initiative (Campaign, 3 February).

IPG's Lowe Worldwide handles the bulk of the company's advertising, including its skincare and Johnson's Baby ranges. Interpublic's McCann Erickson network is responsible for the Band-Aid and Acuvue brands.

Omnicom's DDB network, meanwhile, is the incumbent on RoC, Neutrogena, Clean & Clear and the Evian Affinity Skincare ranges.

Sources close to Lowe suggest the network's grip on the account has been weakened by the recent departure of Andrew Langer, the global creative director on J&J and the former vice-chairman of Lowe Worldwide. Langer resigned to join the US agency Roberts & Tarlow last month as its chief creative officer.

However, Joe McCarthy, J&J's recently appointed worldwide director of advertising and marketing communications, denied any meetings had taken place.

McCarthy said: "It's not true. The brands that we have at Lowe we have no plans to pitch or relocate."

The news follows J&J's decision two weeks ago to award WPP's Ogilvy & Mather, a non-roster network, the creative brief to handle its sponsorship of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The agency pitched against Lowe, JWT, TBWA\ Worldwide and McCann to secure the account.

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