Two weeks ago, the New Brunswick, N.J.-based healthcare concern stated that it would move its 'print coordination' assignment from Young & Rubicam/N.Y. to St. Louis-based Advanswers, starting with January 1994 publications. Y&R, which also handles the TV buying assignment for J&J, lost its remaining J&J creative assignments in the July realignment of brands (ADWEEK, July 26).
Johnson & Johnson vp/advertising Pete Tyrell downplayed the shift of the Young & Rubicam assignment, which is essentially for print buying. (Planning for each brand is handled by the agency that has the creative assignment.)
'It's an administrative deal,' explained Tyrrell. 'It's not as if we're making some major realignment.'
According to Tyrell, Y&R functioned as the negotiating point agency for all of J&J's print. The total amount of spending has been roughly $40 million for this year according to one source, though last year's print spending, according to Competitive Media Reporting, was $68.9 million.
For now, the TV assignment will remain at Y&R, a piece of media buying business that is conservatively worth $160 million. However, as it said when the creative brands were realigned in July, J&J plans to evaluate Y&R's work soon. Said J&J spokesperson Jeff Leebaw, 'They (Y&R) have placed our upfront business for the 1993-94 TV season, and as is customary practice, their performance will be evaluated at the end of the year.'
For Advanswers, the assignment seems to be a reward for past good deeds. The company has worked with J&J since 1974.
Johnson & Johnson's big realignment came in late July with the net effect being that DDB Needham became one of J&J's core agencies as Y&R and FCB/Leber Katz Partners, N.Y. were dropped. McCann-Erickson, Lintas and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, are also major players on the company's roster.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)