J&J Concludes Media Review, Retains UM in North America

Packaged-Goods Giant Has Been Paring Down Its Agency Roster

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Johnson & Johnson has retained Interpublic Group of Cos' Universal McCann as its North American media agency following a review.

"J3, the agency dedicated to the Johnson & Johnson brands, will continue to lead the account in its New York and Toronto locations," the agency told Ad Age . J3 is the dedicated agency within UM that has been serving the marketer's account.

For UM, holding on to the business is a relief as it's a key client which the shop has partnered with for nearly four decades.

In a statement the marketer said it had completed "a review of media planning and buying agencies to support its North America businesses across our Consumer, Medical Device & Diagnostics, and Pharmaceutical sectors and will retain the incumbent agency." It added: "The review began several months ago with the objective of leveraging the company's scale to identify cost savings and increase value. Johnson & Johnson has partnered with UM since 1973 and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership."

The conclusion of the media-pitch news comes on the heels of the company's global creative review last month. At the end of that process, J&J shifted assignments from Interpublic shops and independent Mother to Omnicom Group's DDB and BBDO and WPP Group's JWT.

The company had also conducted a media-agency review for its EMEA region and consolidated the work within UM and Group M. Previously, four agencies had worked on the business in the region. Through the consolidation, UM expanded its relationship to include Southeastern Europe.

At the time, Kim Kadlec, worldwide VP-global marketing group, had said that the company would soon launch a review for its other three global regions, including North America. Ad Age later learned that the review invited four incumbents to participate: Aegis' Carat, Omnicom's OMD, a team from WPP's Group M and UM. It's understood that Carat, which works on Pfizer consumer and pharmaceutical business, declined to participate.

J&J spent $2.6 billion globally on advertising last year and $1.94 billion in the U.S., according to the Ad Age DataCenter . The consumer businesses make up the vast majority of the company's spending.

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