NEW YORK Johnson & Johnson, in a switch from past practice, has broken out communications planning as a separate media assignment and awarded North American duties on the task to three shops: independent Naked, WPP Group's JWT and Interpublic Group's Sandbox, the client has confirmed.
Previously, Naked here did some consulting work for the New Brunswick, N.J.-based client.
Sandbox is a new IPG unit created to service its portion of the client's communications planning.
Traditional planning and buying in North America was retained by IPG's Universal McCann, which put together a new entity called J3, with access to other IPG resources as needed, to service the account.
J&J spent about $1.3 billion on ads last year in the U.S., by far the largest piece of J&J's North American account, and approaching half of its estimated $3 billion global media budget. OMD had handled a relatively small piece of the North American buying and traditional planning business, including $300 million in print spending, now consolidated under J3.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the client named Aegis Group's Carat as its regional AOR for media. IPG's Initiative was the incumbent for most of Europe, the single biggest piece of business in J&J's EMEA region. Omnicom's OMD adds AOR duties for the Asia-Pacific region; it also won chores in Latin America that had been handled by Initiative. UM picks up work in Japan and some other Asian markets.
Sources said that IPG came out with a slightly smaller assignment based on revenue.
WPP Group's MindShare exited the process in April.
JWT handles creative duties on several brands from the former Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, which J&J acquired last year. In recent weeks, JWT has picked up additional creative duties for J&J brands such as Band-Aid, Reach and Pepcid at the expense of IPG's McCann Erickson and Alchemy. (McCann handled the first two brands, Alchemy worked on Pecid.)
J&J said its nearly four-month review of its global media account, with estimated spending of $3 billion, resulted in a "new model that places communications planning at the center, ensuring that brand platforms are driven by consumer insights and behavior, and connect across appropriate channels of communication."
In a statement, client chief media officer and worldwide vp Kimberly Kadlec said, "Our goal was to get agencies and brands working together in a new way. The agencies that pitched for this business did an amazing job of presenting new and innovative approaches, and I'm pleased to say that together we will meet the challenges of engaging with today's consumers."
For now, J&J's North American region is the only area with a roster dedicated to communications planning, said Kadlec, who added that the new model will be applied to other regions over time. J&J said that communication planning chores would divided by brands, but that specific assignments had yet to be finalized.
While communications planning is gaining favor among U.S. marketers, J&J is believed to be one of the first major domestic firms to hold separate and simultaneous reviews for traditional media planning/buying and communications planning.
Traditional media planning is largely tactical and mainly focused on the weight that should be given to individual networks, stations, dayparts and publications. Communications planning is strategic and tries to develop overall marketing plans for brands, taking into consideration all channels, including but not limited to traditional and emerging media, public relations, viral marketing, sports and entertainment marketing and event planning.
"We're extremely pleased that our long-term partner Johnson & Johnson has selected Interpublic to handle all of its North American media buying needs, including the recently added Pfizer consumer health businesses, as well as important communications planning responsibilities in the U.S. and Canada. We are also excited that they've awarded us full-service media responsibilities in Japan and a number of additional Asian growth markets," said IPG chairman and CEO Michael Roth, in a statement.
Commenting on Carat's win, Jerry Buhlmann, CEO, Aegis Media EMEA, said, "Johnson & Johnson is one of the world's great consumer brands companies, and we are extremely proud to be working with them across the whole region.
This story updates and replaces an item posted earlier today with client confirmation and specifics on how the global account is divided.