Novo Nordisk awards $400 million U.S. media account to Wavemaker
Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company, named WPP's Wavemaker as its media agency of record following a review that kicked off in January, before the coronavirus became a global pandemic, people close to the matter told Ad Age.
A Novo Nordisk spokesperson confirmed that it conducted a review but declined to comment further.
“We can confirm that Novo Nordisk did conduct a business review earlier this year,” the spokesperson said. “The details of the process along with the end result are confidential matters as we respect the relationships between our current and future business partners.”
People close to the matter said the account is worth $400 million and used to be serviced by a bespoke Publicis team. Those people said Publicis competed to defend the business in the recent review.
Spokespeople for Wavemaker and Publicis declined to comment.
Novo Nordisk, based in Denmark, is a global healthcare company specializing in diabetes care. The company has U.S. offices in New Jersey, North Carolina, Washington, Indiana and Massachusetts.
While advertising activity has been slowing (a recent IAB report found that nearly a quarter of media buyers and brands have canceled their ad spend for the second quarter), agency executives have been reporting that new business pitches haven't stopped.
Tom Denford, North America CEO of management consultancy ID Comms, said recently that most of the current ongoing pitches were launched in January and many others that were intended to kick off in the first quarter are being postponed to later in the year. Pitches that haven't been called off or postponed are being conducted remotely. AARP, for example, has been quietly conducting a creative review that started in January, Ad Age learned.
According to a recent ID Comms study, only 8 percent of agency leaders think pitches should be called off entirely until the pandemic is over, with 16 percent saying the pitch process has “to be totally rethought to work in the current climate.” The study found that agency leaders are being more selective about what briefs they respond to right now.