J&J Conducts Massive Global Creative Review

Move Follows Management Changes, Recall Woes

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Johnson & Johnson is conducting a global review, seeking to consolidate creative for its massive advertising account, putting up for grabs one of the biggest accounts in marketing.

In an e-mail statement, a J&J spokeswoman said: "Johnson & Johnson is conducting a global agency review and consolidation to build greater value and deliver innovative and fully integrated solutions for our consumer brands."

Michael Sneed
Michael Sneed

The review comes after Michael Sneed became J&J's top marketing officer Jan. 1, consolidating duties overseeing marketing and public relations in his role as VP-global corporate affairs. And it comes about a month after J&J launched a media review for its Europe, Middle East and Africa region, which is running separately from the global creative review, said spokeswoman Carol Goodrich.

Mr. Sneed succeeded longtime J&J chief marketer Brian Perkins, who announced his retirement late last year, and also took oversight of the PR function headed by Ray Jordan, corporate VP-public affairs and corporate communication. That change came as Alex Gorsky succeeded longtime CEO William Weldon earlier this year, though Mr. Weldon remains as chairman.

Kim Kadlec, worldwide VP-marketing, is also expected to play a key role in the global review.

The embattled pharma and consumer products giant has been trimming its marketing spending in the U.S., where a series of recalls and manufacturing issues have had key brands, such as Tylenol and Benadryl, in short supply since 2010.

J&J said in an earnings conference call last week that it doesn't expect to have the overhaul of its U.S. over-the-counter drug facilities completed and reviewed under a consent decree with the Food and Drug Administration until sometime in the second half of 2013.

Assuming it's just roster shops that have been invited, the goal for the agencies will be not only to hang on to to the business they have, but to absorb brands handled by rival shops. A number of different holding companies have J&J business, including Omnicom Group via DDB and BBDO; Interpublic Group of Cos.' via Deutsch, Lowe , Martin Agency and R/GA; Publicis Groupe via Razorfish; WPP via JWT and AKQA; and Havas via EuroRSCG.

J&J reported $2.6 billion in global advertising spending in its Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for 2011, up 4% from $2.5 billion in 2010.

According to Ad Age 's DataCenter, Johnson & Johnson spent $1.94 billion on U.S. advertising last year, a huge figure, but one that 's shrinking. In 2010, J&J had spent over $2 billion. It's dropped in its ranking by ad spending on the DataCenter to No. 13 from No. 9 this year.

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