Exclusive: Interpublic sets up unit for J&J media

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Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann launched a dedicated unit to handle its $1.3 billion global Johnson & Johnson media business, and hired Peggy Kelly, former VP-advertising services at Clairol, to run the new group.

Ms. Kelly recently left Clairol after a transition period following its acquisition by Procter & Gamble Co. Her title will be senior VP-global client services director and she will report to Murray Dudgeon, operations director for Universal McCann Worldwide. Although Ms. Kelly's duties will cover global advertising for the marketer, her first task will be to integrate a North American team of media buyers and planners at the agency.

new structure

"This is a new AOR structure for J&J," said Robin Kent, chairman-CEO of Universal McCann Worldwide. "Peggy will sit in the middle and will have total management control of all things media for Johnson & Johnson."

Ms. Kelly will pull together all the existing J&J-focused staff at Universal, heavily represented in national broadcast, and will coordinate other services. For example, she will help integrate the efforts of Spotlight Presentations, J&J's programming business, which is currently operating out of Universal sibling Magna Global Entertainment.

On the marketer side, Ms. Kelly will work directly with Dawn Jacobs, VP-advertising at J&J, and Andrea Alstrup, corporate VP-advertising.

makes sense

"It makes sense to have one unit for us to go to," said Ms. Alstrup. "It will streamline the communication at Universal and at Johnson & Johnson. We have many brands in North America, Latin America, as well as Europe and Japan, and we just want to continue to be smart about what we are doing in all these places."

The formation of a dedicated J&J unit at Universal McCann follows a growing movement within huge media agencies to organize the accounts of their largest clients into units that are essentially autonomous agencies. The trend has been led by automakers such as General Motors Corp., whose $2.9 billion media-planning business is handled by GM Planworks, a unit of Bcom3 Group's media-buying powerhouse Starcom Worldwide and is gaining steam among other marketers. Universal McCann, for example, has started running its $500 million consolidated U.S. Sony Corp. business on an integrated basis led by George Hayes, chief operating officer, Local Communications, New York, a sibling Interpublic media agency.

Ms. Kelly was also VP-advertising services at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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