J&J Strips Brands From McCann Erickson

NEW YORK Johnson & Johnson has shuffled its agency assignments, stripping McCann Erickson’s U.S. operations of all its J&J business except for one brand, Acuvue, the client has confirmed.

The IPG shop’s J&J business will be divided among its roster agencies, sources said. J&J’s roster shops include Omnicom’s DDB, WPP’s JWT and IPG’s Lowe.

McCann will, however, continue to work on some other client business in its offices overseas.

The five brands leaving McCann—Band-Aid, Reach, Stayfree, Monistat and K-Y—are expected to land at other roster agencies. Sources expect WPP Group’s JWT, Omnicom Group’s BBDO and independent Mother to pick up business, but a J&J representative said the company had not finalized the new assignments.

Some of the brands, such as Band-Aid and Reach, are global, while others are only marketed in the U.S. Domestic spending on the business exiting McCann totaled approximately $100 million last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Acuvue’s U.S. media spend last year was about $30 million, per TNS.

“These moves don’t affect other [McCann] Worldgroup agencies,” the rep said, adding, “McCann will continue to support all these brands during the transition period.”

Beyond the McCann shifts, sources expect other J&J brands to be reassigned as well. For example, Splenda, which had been in review with four contenders, is expected to land at BBDO, said sources. Spending on that brand, which had been at Lowe’s Alchemy unit, is around $35 million.

The rep declined to discuss Splenda.

The creative shifts comes as J&J’s global media reviewwinds down. Contenders include IPG units Initiative and Universal McCann, Omnicom’s OMD and Aegis Group’s Carat. Sources expect a decision in that contest by month’s end.

Agency executives either declined comment or referred questions to the client.

This story updates an earlier item with client confirmation and additional details.