The RFP also included challenges that the pharmaceutical industry continues to face when it comes to marketing its products such as regulation, changing consumer behaviors, data, and more competition in the space.
“The private nature of pharma also creates challenges to developing insights into what competitors are doing,” the RFP continued. “It can be very challenging for BMS to gather a complete understanding on competition without the aid and perspective of our third-party agencies. In media, this is no exception and agencies are heavily relied upon to provide insight into the always-changing landscape.”
While health care professionals remain the primary target for Bristol Myers Squibb, the need for a new media agency comes at a time when its DTC brands, which were previously a small portion of its portfolio, have grown significantly over the years, according to the RFP.
Related: IPG's Mediabrands wins Geico's media business
“Pressures brought by external macroeconomic factors alongside growth goals mean BMS must think even smarter looking ahead, prioritize and be flexible to stretch budgets to work harder,” the RFP said. “This includes looking at campaigns differently, better leveraging creative assets, and improving ROI. A strategic approach to budget allocation, planning, and buying is essential.”
Joanne Davis Consulting helped manage the review along with an internal Bristol Myers Squibb team, which included the following: Kathy Vincent, senior director of U.S. commercial strategy and operations, Lori Kaplan, executive director, launch experience, Denise Dalton, executive director U.S. omni-channel experience, strategy & planning, Naveed Patel, director worldwide media and planning, Jim Akers, executive director, strategic sourcing & procurement and Michelle Walters, senior manager marketing procurement.
This is another significant win for IPG which picked up Geico’s $1.4 billion media business in February. Bristol Myers Squibb isn’t the only pharma giant to put its media business in review recently. In February, Pfizer launched a creative and media review that is expected to have participants from all the major holding companies.