SC Johnson Reviews Its Global Media Buying but Will It Consolidate?

Change on the horizon for roster shops

SC Johnson is reviewing the global media buying responsibilities that are divided between its roster shops, Omnicom Group's PHD and WPP's Maxus, the company confirmed.

Maxus has been the lead media network on the account, but PHD oversees digital buying. By some estimates, SC Johnson spends $1 billion to $1.2 billion on global media annually, with $300 million of that invested in the U.S., the company's largest market. A decision is expected in mid-April.

The review follows the consumer-product giant's shift of global communcations planning from Maxus to PHD in January.

The executive driving these changes is Salman Amin, who joined SC Johnson in 2013 as chief operating officer after 17 years in marketing roles at PepsiCo, lastly as chief marketing officer. At Pepsi, Amin worked closely with Omnicom agencies like BBDO, TBWA and OMD.

"Like all businesses and organizations, we regularly assess our contracts and relationships with partners and vendors," said a SCJ rep in a statement. "This simply is a normal exercise and part of customary contract renewals to ensure we are maximizing the return on our investments and inform our path moving forward."

Representative at PHD and Maxus could not be reached.

The current review is focusing on regional capabilities and costs, with London-based consultancy Ebiquity helping to analyze the data. Marketers like Wells Fargo have recently sought efficiency by placing all of their media at one holding company. While SC Johnson's review could lead to consolidation, the company could also keep both Maxus and PHD, albeit with changes to their assignments and fee structures, according to a source.

The creative business remains split between EnergyBBDO and Ogilvy & Mather, although Energy has been adding brands at the expense of Ogilvy. SCJ hired BBDO, Ogilvy and Maxus in 2011 after an eight-month review that ended a nearly 60-year relationship with Draftfcb. Some wonder if, under Amin, more creative business will come under scrutiny.

"I'm sure they'll look at creative assignments now that [SCJ] has a COO with global marketing under his watch," said one source. 

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