WPP, IPG Take J&J’s U.S. Creative

NEW YORK Johnson & Johnson, after a review, has consolidated U.S. creative duties on more than 35 prescription drug brands at WPP Group and Interpublic Group. Estimated total revenue on the business exceeds $100 million.

Sources said the split is nearly even both in terms of revenue and number of brands. It was not immediately clear, however, how many brands each holding company gained versus simply retained.

The review began with six holding companies and was reduced to four — IPG, WPP, Havas and inVentiv Health — before J&J chose two, said sources. Previously, some 200 agencies across a half-dozen holding companies worked on the business.

The creative will take the form of traditional advertising, direct marketing, interactive, public relations, search-engine marketing and collateral, according to sources. The primary targets are doctors and managed-care providers, though some of the brands also advertise to consumers.

WPP’s pitch team included executives from JWT, CommonHealth, Grey Healthcare Group and Burson-Marsteller, and IPG’s included execs from Draftfcb Healthcare, units of McCann Healthcare, Lowe Healthcare, R/GA, Weber Shandwick, mobile marketing shop Ansible and Reprise, a search marketing firm, said sources.

“We are very pleased with this decision that significantly expands our relationship with a highly valued business partner,” said IPG worldwide CEO Michael Roth, in a statement. WPP had no comment.

A J&J representative confirmed the selections, adding that the company is “excited about this choice and feel that those organizations have the creative skills, expertise and breadth to help us accomplish our mission to provide innovative approaches to reach and engage our customers.”

Sources said WPP’s brand assignments include central nervous system drugs Concerta, Invega and Risperdal Consta, infectious disease drugs Doribax and Lavaquin, immune system disease drug Remicade and cancer treatment Procrit.
IPG’s brands include pain drugs, reproductive health/urology drugs and some cancer drugs, said sources. J&J’s pain drugs include Duragesic and Ultram, its reproductive health/urology drugs, Ortho and Terazol, and its cancer drugs, Velcade and Leustatin.