The shift from incumbent Alchemy, New York, a unit of Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe, came without a review following a credentials presentation, according to a person familiar with the matter. J&J confirmed the move but declined to provide further details.
Earlier boutique move
J&J hailed Taxi only a month after handing its $30 million K-Y sexual-health brand to Mother, New York, from Interpublic's McCann Erickson. Mother originally joined J&J's roster in 2005 to handle the Rembrandt oral-care brand after it was acquired from Procter & Gamble Co.
Even after the Motrin move, boutiques still are handling only a fraction of J&J's $1.3 billion in U.S. ad spending, which remains mainly with units of Interpublic, Omnicom Group and WPP Group.
Mother's K-Y and Rembrandt combined got $36 million in media support last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence, while Taxi's Motrin brands got $18.1 million.
J&J's moves follow or coincide with those of rivals to smaller shops, including Unilever's shift of several global brands to Bartle Bogle Hegarty in the past decade and Procter & Gamble Co.'s shift of the global Old Spice brand to Wieden & Kennedy last year.
Contributing: Brooke Capps