Pfizer rose to a new level of prominence as one of just three main providers of the COVID-19 vaccine and booster shots. Now, as emergency restrictions have eased and many have moved past the pandemic, the pharmaceutical giant is changing the way it markets its brand, with a new chief marketing officer, and, as of today, a new agency roster.
Pfizer has awarded its “integrated global engine” to Publicis Groupe and named Interpublic Group of Cos. its lead creative partner, three months after initiating a massive review incorporating advertising creative, media, PR and production duties.
It is a major victory for both Publicis and IPG, which beat out multiple holding companies in one of the industry’s most hotly contested—and lucrative—reviews of the year. MediaLink was the consultant on the review, which kicked off in February. Dentsu’s Carat was the incumbent on U.S. media, while global media is handled by various agencies across the globe.
Publicis, by handling data and tech, media and creative production, will help form the new Pfizer marketing machine. Last year, New York-based Pfizer spent $2.8 billion on worldwide advertising, up from $2 billion in 2021, according to the company’s financial documents. Yet the bulk of the $100 billion brand’s spend is in the U.S., where Pfizer ranked as the 36th largest advertiser, spending $1.49 billion in the U.S. in 2021, according to Ad Age’s Datacenter.