PHD, GroupM And Dentsu Get Pieces Of GSK Media

Pharmaceutical Giant GSK has retained Omnicom’s PHD to handle media planning and buying duties for the U.S. after a review, the client confirmed Monday. The U.S. is by far the drug maker’s biggest market. PHD also picked up media duties for Canada and West Africa.  Non-North American assignments were consolidated with GroupM agencies, while Dentsu was awarded buying duties in Japan.

The drug maker spends about $1.6 billion annually on ads worldwide. According to Kantar GSK spent around $444 million on ads in the U.S. Last year, down from about $522 million in 2011. 

“The decision to consolidate our media investment with two network partners – GroupM and OMG, with Dentsu buying in Japan, is based on various factors including simplicity and speedier deployment of best practices,” stated Sam Singh, VP, Global Media. “We believe this sets us up with a fit for purpose media system into the future.”



PHD initially won the U.S. GSK assignment from GroupM’s MediaCom after a client review in 2010, ousting the then incumbent MediaCom, a unit of GroupM.

GSK said the scope of work for the Omnicom and GroupM shops would include media strategy, planning and buying.  The client added that OMG and Group M will share responsibilities for global category-planning for Consumer Healthcare.   PHD will manage the geographies in North America and West Africa, while GroupM will manage the rest of the world. Both, Dentsu and GroupM will manage the Japan business.  

Two other incumbents, Starcom and Carat, have been eliminated from the client’s roster of media shops. 

This story has been updated to correct GSK's estimated ad spending in the U.S.

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