GlaxoSmithKline starts £40m UK media review

GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) UK consumer and nutritional healthcare divisions are planning to centralise their media planning and buying arrangements, which are worth about &£40m.

GSK, product of a merger between Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham (SKB), has invited its incumbent agencies – CIA, MediaCom and Universal McCann – to repitch.

The pitch will take place in August with a decision expected in September. UK advertising director John Blakemore will oversee the review.

CIA handles an estimated &£8m media budget for the Sensodyne and Nytol brands, which were acquired from US company Block Drug in January. MediaCom handles the NiQuitin and Beechams cough, cold and flu brands, SKB brands from before the merger. Former Beconase hayfever remedy and Zovirax cold sore cream are handled by Universal McCann.

Early this year, GSK consolidated its &£406m US media buying account into MediaCom. The appointment followed a four-way pitch against GSK’s three other incumbent US agencies – Havas Advertising’s Media Planning, WPP Group’s Media Edge and Interpublic Group’s Media Direct Partners (MW March 22).

Last year the company awarded its corporate branding assignment to M&C Saatchi. Its creative roster also includes Grey Worldwide and Ogilvy & Mather. The Glaxo brands, use McCann-Erickson in the UK.

GSK is to unveil a major corporate restructuring. It is understood that marketing jobs will be under threat (MW March 1).

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