Johnson & Johnson Moves $1 Billion Buying Business Back to UM's J3

U.S. Shift Comes Year After Pharma Giant Tapped OMD

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Johnson & Johnson is moving its U.S. buying business back to J3, a J&J-dedicated unit of Interpublic Group of Cos' UM that currently handles planning, the company said.

The move comes only a year after J&J moved its U.S. buying to Omnicom's OMD from J3, which had previously handled both buying and planning. It also comes only a few months after the packaged-goods and pharma giant began an international media review. At the time, the company said that it would not review North America.

"Consumer and customer insights and expectations for Johnson & Johnson brands are rapidly evolving regionally and globally. In order to adapt to and exceed expectations, Johnson & Johnson continually evaluates the resources required to meet consumer and customer needs and support growth opportunities for our brands," said a J&J spokeswoman. "After careful consideration, we have decided to reintegrate our U.S. media buying with J3 for our consumer, pharmaceutical and medical device brands. Omnicom and OMD remain important partners for us around the world, delivering outstanding work that drives our business."

Both UM and OMD referred calls for comment to the client.

The company spent $1.09 billion on measured media in the U.S. in 2014. Among its top spending brands were Neutrogena ($251.1 million), Aveeno ($124.5 million), Xarelto ($113.1 million) , Zyrtec ($93.8 million), Listerine ($79.2 million) and Tylenol ($68.3 million).

The agency move also rekindles a relationship between UM and J&J's Media Director Luke Kigel. More than six months after moving its buying business to OMD, J&J named Mr. Kigel it's director of media and connections for the Americas. He had been overseeing digital marketing strategy for the company. Prior to joining J&J in 2013, he was a senior VP at UM.

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