Biopharmaceutical Giant Amgen Places Its $200 Million Media Account in Review

MEC and SSCG are incumbents

The review reportedly focused on agencies' data capabilities. Source: Amgen
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Amgen, the world’s largest independent biotechnology firm, has launched its first full media review in more than 14 years.

According to a person with knowledge of the matter, Ark Advisors will be managing the process in which Amgen seeks a single media agency to handle planning and buying duties for all of its brands in the U.S.

The California-based company formerly known as Applied Molecular Genetics produces a variety of medications. Its most popular products are Neulasta and Neupogen, which doctors primarily prescribe to prevent infections in patients undergoing treatment for conditions like cancer and HIV.

MEC has handled the consumer side of the business since 2003, when Amgen concluded its last review, and Omnicom’s SSCG Media promotes the company’s products to healthcare professionals.

The company issued an RFI in December 2016 but never announced a new agency partner. Now it appears to have cancelled the review for unknown reasons. Spokespeople for Amgen, MEC and SSCG have not responded to emails requesting comment, and Ark Advisors did not return a call today.

The account was estimated to be worth $40 million in billings in 2003. According to the latest numbers from Kantar Media, Amgen spent $202 million on U.S. marketing in 2016 and $121 million during the first half of 2017.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.