Johnson & Johnson has again consolidated its $1 billion U.S. media assignment with J3, an Interpublic unit dedicated to the J&J business.
J3 was created back in 2007 when J&J decided to award IPG most of its U.S. media business. Last year, however, it split the assignment, awarding Omnicom’s OMD the media-buying portion of the business while keeping media planning at J3.
According to several media vendor sources, OMD spent a lot of time over the past year successfully “re-basing” J&J’s pricing for media — renegotiating and getting long-term lower prices for the pharma and consumer health-care giant.
And OMD exceeded J&J’s expectations for reduced rates, per the sources.
The move to re-consolidate the buying and planning portions of the account with J3 was made for business reasons (that weren’t precisely clear) and not OMD’s performance, sources said.
A J&J spokeswoman issued this statement: “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.
"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.”
The unexpected U.S. consolidation comes just months after J&J called an international review that is still ongoing. At the time, J&J stressed that it was not reviewing its U.S. media assignment. J&J’s media director for the America’s region is Luke Kigel. Before joining J&J two years ago, Kigel was a senior manager at IPG media agency UM.
J&J brands include Tylenol, Neutrogena and Zyrtec, among others.
Both J3 and OMD reps declined comment, referring questions to the client.