The long-awaited SmithKline Beecham media review has finally hit the UK,
three months after a country-by-country rethink was ordered across
The client originally launched a review of its pounds 125 million
European media planning and buying accounts last November and began
market-by-market pitches. But it had always denied that changes were
imminent in the UK.
Three agencies are now lining up to tilt for the pounds 34 million UK
account - the incumbents, MediaCom and YMG Carat, plus the Network.
Pitches will take place in early March.
John Blakemore, UK advertising director at SmithKline Beecham, said:
‘People have been going on about this since we bought Sterling Health,
but I have no comment at all.’
However, sources claim an official announcement about the UK review will
be made next week.
SmithKline Beecham acquired Sterling Health last April, a move which
brought YMG Carat on to the SmithKline Beecham roster alongside
MediaCom handles the majority of the pounds 28 million SmithKline
Beecham business in the UK, which includes the Beechams, Oxy 10,
Aquafresh and Macleans brands, while YMG continues to handle pounds 6
million worth of Sterling Health brands.
The series of country-by-country reviews kicked off in Italy in November
and has since moved to 15 countries in central and eastern Europe, Eire
and Holland. A pitch is due in Spain this week, and another is expected
shortly in France.
In most markets, pitches have come down to a head-to-head shoot-out
between Mediacom and the Network.
MediaCom has so far picked up the accounts in Eire and central and
eastern Europe. A decision is awaited in Holland. None of the pitching
agencies were available for comment.