In a move that took the industry by surprise, pharmaceutical and consumer care giant Johnson & Johnson is moving its $1 billion U.S. media buying business to Omnicom’s OMD from J3, the dedicated J&J unit within IPG Mediabrands.
The shift occurred without a formal review, according to sources, and happened within two months of the departure of Kim Kadlec, the
company’s vice president of global marketing for AOL.
Kadlec, a former UM executive oversaw the last two comprehensive media reviews conducted by J&J.
J&J’s last global review was completed less than two years ago in November 2012, when J3 retained its U.S. media assignment and added duties for territories outside the U.S.
The U.S. shift to OMD is
for media buying, while J3 retains its remit to provide strategy, planning and content development and activation services to J&J. Other regional assignments were not affected by the U.S.
In the U.S., J&J spent a little more than $1 billion on ads in 2013, up about 21% from the $836 million it spent in 2012, according to Kantar.
The agencies declined comment on the move. J&J reps could not be immediately reached.