GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Consolidates Global Roster to Nine Agencies

Agencies Hired Across Advertising, Digital, Content, PR, Expert and Shopper Marketing

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GlaxoSmithKline Credit: GlaxoSmithKline UK headquarters
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GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare has consolidated its global agency roster to nine shops across advertising, digital, content, PR, expert marketing and shopper marketing to support its leading brands, such as Sensodyne and Theraflu.

The agencies, which were selected following a review, include Grey and Saatchi & Saatchi for advertising; Weber Shandwick for advertising, digital, content and PR; Havas for advertising in addition to digital and content, with help from WPP Digital on digital work (and Wunderman in the lead on the WPP Digital duties); Edelman for content and PR; McCann Health and Ogilvy Commonhealth for expert marketing; and Geometry for shopper marketing.

All of the agencies were already working with GSK, but the scopes of work have been extended, said Sarah Hodson, global lead, communications and content, communications and government affairs at GSK Consumer Healthcare. Havas had not previously worked on digital, she said, and Weber Shandwick is now the lead agency for Excedrin, overseeing advertising, PR, content and digital, she added. Media will continue to be managed by Omnicom's PHD and WPP's GroupM.

The consolidation was about "increasing the prioritization of digital and driving much better scale and efficiency across the organization as we strive to become the best in fast moving consumer healthcare companies," said Ms. Hodson.

While Ms. Hodson declined to disclose the exact number of agencies that were previously on GSK's global roster, she said there was "a considerable reduction in our overall number of agencies when you roll this out across the globe." She also confirmed that TBWA Worldwide, Chi & Partners and DDB were previously on the roster and GSK is no longer working with them.

The nine agencies will focus on GSK Consumer Healthcare's seven power brands and 12 core brands, which the company believes will deliver 90% of its growth. The power brands include: Sensodyne, Parodontax, Poligrip, Voltaren, Panadol, Theraflu and Otrivin. Core brands consists of: Biotene, Contac, Flonase, Excedrin, Fenbid, Tums, ENO, Horlicks, Physiogel, Lamisil, Fenistil and Abreva/Zovirax.

The internally led review follows on GSK's joint venture with Novartis, which "has been a catalyst for change and opportunity within GSK Consumer Healthcare, bringing an injection of new talent, energy and ambition," according to a statement from Roger Scarlett-Smith, head of global categories at GSK Consumer Healthcare.

GlaxoSmithKline, which is composed of three main groups, including consumer healthcare, pharmaceuticals and vaccines, spent $948.4 million on U.S. advertising in 2015, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.