MediaCom has won SmithKline Beecham’s 34m UK media buying and planning centralisation after a three-way pitch.
The media dependent, part of the Grey network, defeated SB’s other incumbent, YMG Carat, and The Network, Ogilvy & Mather’s media operation.
The centralisation had been widely expected since SB’s acquisition of Sterling Healthcare in August 1994. With the acquisition the company acquired a roster of agencies across Europe. The UK review was part of a country-by-country strategy to streamline its agencies (MW November 10 1995).
“All the agencies we saw were there on merit,” says John Blakemore, SB’s UK advertising dire ctor. “It was a genuine review and they all put up very professional presentations.”
The centralisation strategy is designed to ensure that SB is “gaining best media expertise and best media value”, adds Blakemore.
MediaCom had previously handled 26m of the total business. YMG Carat had handled the 6m Sterling Healthcare brands, such as Andrews Antacid, Hedex and Solpeidine. The Network got onto the pitch list because its parent network, O&M, is one of SB’s roster creative agencies.