Johnson & Johnson has begun U.S. creative reviews for Neutrogena and Aveeno, according to multiple people close to the situation.
Johnson & Johnson launches US creative reviews for Neutrogena and Aveeno
Omnicom Group’s DDB is incumbent on both brands, which its former Roberts & Tarlow subsidiary handled for more than a quarter century. Both brands are part of the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Healthcare business, which is set to spin off from J&J as a new company named Kenvue later this year.
Loss of those brands would leave Omnicom Group without substantial assignments from the J&J consumer health care business in the U.S. DDB sibling BBDO handles J&J's corporate brand work, but not Kenvue corporate work, according to people familiar with the matter.
Omnicom and DDB weren’t immediately available for comment. It’s unclear whether DDB will be defending the account.
A spokeswoman for J&J declined to comment on specifics but said in an emailed statement: “Agency reviews are a part of our regular business process. We’re always looking for ways to ensure we’re making an even greater impact on the lives of the consumers and customers we serve.”
Neutrogena spent $121 million on U.S.-measured media in 2022, a decrease from the $191 million spent in 2021, according to Vivvix, including paid social data from Pathmatics. Aveeno spent $39 million in U.S. measured media last year, per Vivvix, significantly lower than the $85 million spent in 2021.
The J&J consumer business already eliminated WPP’s Wunderman Thompson from key creative accounts following reviews in recent years, including one in 2019 that sent the Tylenol, Listerine and Zyrtec assignments to Stagwell Group’s Doner Partners Network, with help from sibling Code & Theory. Doner also picked up the Johnson & Johnson’s Baby and Aveeno Baby assignments in 2021.
While DDB has remained agency of record on Neutrogena and Aveeno in recent years, some of the brand’s more interesting digital and social work has been handled by other shops, such as a TikTok reality show handled by Movers & Shakers and an in-house video series from Neutrogena Studios. TV ads currently running for Neutrogena date back to 2020 and 2021, according to iSpot.tv. Aveeno is currently running one newer TV spot that broke in February.
DDB New York has had some significant executive moves of late. Its president, Darla Price, is leaving to become president of Ogilvy New York. DDB New York recently named Amanda Peters as its new head of strategy to replace its former Chief Strategy Officer Auro Trini Castelli who departed to join Product, a new agency co-founded by former Huge CEO Aaron Shapiro. Tomas Gonsorcik was also appointed the CSO of DDB North America in late 2022.
Last year DDB also picked up business with Kroger Health, Reynolds and Bimbo.