GlaxoSmithKline, the drug giant formed by the merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham, as expected has launched a review for its estimated $550-600 million consolidated U.S. media buying account, executives familiar with the review said. Contenders include WPP's The Media Edge; Grey Global Group's Mediacom; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Media Direct Partners; and Havas' Media Planning. The move comes in advance of the upfront buying period this spring. Planning is not part of the review, nor is the international portion of the business which is divided among a handful of shops. The total consolidated global media business is estimated to be over $1 billion. According to executives familiar with the review, the company does not expect to consolidate the media business overseas at this time. All the competing agencies have received requests for proposals from the client and were preparing replies throughout the week.
Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.