GSK reviews global media account

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GlaxoSmithKline Plc company headquarters in London, U.K.
GlaxoSmithKline Plc company headquarters in London, U.K. Credit: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

Pharma and consumer-health giant GlaxoSmithKline is reviewing its massive global media account, according to people familiar with the matter. The marketer spent about $1.7 billion on advertising in 2017, according to Ad Age Datacenter.

In 2015, GSK awarded its global media business to incumbents Omnicom's PHD and WPP's Mediacom, Ad Age reported at the time. That came two years after GSK consolidated the bulk of its global media buying and planning account with WPP's GroupM, while keeping PHD as its lead media agency for the U.S. in 2013.

The marketer did not respond immediately to a request for comment. PHD referred comment to the client; MediaCom didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

GSK reviews its media agency relationships every three years in a mandatory review, according to an executive familiar with the situation.

"GSK's stock has been in decline since June last year, forcing a lot of pressure on the business and on suppliers," says R3 Principal Greg Paull. "Cost commitments will no doubt form a critical part of this review."

GSK disclosed 2017 worldwide advertising costs of 1.351 billion pounds, or $1.74 billion converted into dollars, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.

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