J&J’s Global Creative Review Nears Finish

DDB, BBDO, JWT expected to gain business

Johnson & Johnson is close to concluding its global review of creative responsibilities for its over-the-counter brands and sources expect the bulk of the business to be consolidated at three roster shops: DDB, BBDO and JWT.

Among the brands expected to shift are Band-Aid bandages, Tylenol pain reliever, Carefree tampons, K-Y lubricant and Rembrandt toothpaste. In the U.S. alone last year, those brands collectively spent more than $70 million in media, according to Nielsen. That figure doesn’t include online spending.

Mother in New York most recently handled K-Y but split with J&J earlier this year, according to a source. The incumbents on Band-Aid, Tylenol and Carefree are JWT, The Martin Agency and the Deutsch unit of Lowe, respectively.

Big picture, J&J will pare the number of agencies it employs on OTC brands and align such business at remaining shops based on categories.

DDB, for example, will add feminine care brands like Carefree and K-Y, while BBDO will add topical care products like Band-Aid, according to sources. JWT, in turn, is expected to add pain relievers like Tylenol.

The agencies declined to comment and referred calls to J&J.

A J&J representative acknowledged that review was drawing to a close but declined to discuss specific agencies and brand shifts. Also, marketing leaders like Michael Sneed and Kim Kadlec won’t be ready to talk about the outcome until Thursday, the rep added.

Although the review focused on creative assignments, the outcome didn’t hinge on creative or strategic ideas. Rather, the main criteria were efficiencies, price and resources, participants told Adweek last month

At the time, Kadlec acknowledged the involvement of procurement executives in the process, adding, “We work very closely to ensure that we are getting the very best value and talent from our agencies and that we align business objectives to incentives in a way that inspires great work and measurable outcomes.”

Globally, J&J spends an estimated $2.5 billion annually on marketing.

U.S. media spending on all brands approached $800 million last year, down from nearly $940 million in 2010 and more than $1 billion in 2009, according to Nielsen. Again, those figures don’t include online spending.