Big Winners in J&J Media Review: OMD and Naked

North American Buying and Planning Consolidated With Universal McCann

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NEW YORK ( -- Following a months-long review, Johnson & Johnson is expected to announce a new roster of media agencies with the big winners expected to be Omnicom Group's OMD and independent communications-planning agency Naked, according to executives familiar with the situation.


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Restructuring media buys
J&J is said to be restructuring how it buys media, with channel-agnostic communications planning split off from media buying and planning. In a major victory for its New York office, Naked is expected to pick up communications-planning duties on as many as 10 brands, including J&J's baby products portfolio globally. Despite losing some ground in North America, OMD picked up business in Latin America and Australia and retained its business in China.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that J&J is consolidating North American buying and planning duties with Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann. This is a key save for Interpublic's media operation, which has struggled over the past few years. Insiders say that victory is attributable to Interpublic having replaced its old J&J team with one assembled from other parts of the holding company, especially digital agency R/GA.

Previously, Universal had handled broadcast buying in North America and some planning on a brand-by-brand basis. One person familiar with the account said Universal held approximately 80% of the media duties and has now taken on print buying and some more planning from OMD.

Win some, lose some
But it wasn't all positive for Interpublic. Universal McCann lost some of its regions and Interpublic's other media-buying network, Initiative, is expected to be eliminated from the business, with its European assignment shifting to Aegis Group's Aegis Media.

In terms of revenue, Interpublic's share of the J&J will remain about even due to Initiative's losses in Europe and Universal's loss of Latin America and Australia to OMD. OMD comes out only slightly ahead by picking up these markets.

Aegis Media, which joined the review as a non-roster shop after WPP Group's MindShare dropped out, takes on buying and planning duties in Europe. Aegis Media's sibling Carat had handled media duties for the over-the-counter and personal-care brands J&J acquired from Pfizer late last year. Carat was dismissed by J&J shortly after the acquisition but continues to work for Pfizer.

J&J's Asia duties
Asia remains roughly as is. OMD will keep media duties in China. Universal McCann will hold on to media duties in Japan, the Philippines and Malaysia, and will add Singapore and Thailand to its roster, though it will share duties in those countries with Initiative.

J&J and the agencies didn't return calls for comment. An official announcement is expected later today or tomorrow.

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