Who’d have thought it – the winner so far in the current round of media and (some) creative reviews looks like Interpublic, a few years back firmly ensconced in Wall Street’s sick bay.
IPG’s UM, via its dedicated unit J3, has won Johnson & Johnson’s whopper $2.6bn global media account, wresting the rest of the world from WPP’s MEC to add to the US business, lured back from Omnicom’s OMD.
The media win comes on top of IPG’s win of $450m Coca-Cola in the US and a strong performance for the group as a whole in Q3 2015, posting better organic growth than any of its marcoms rivals.
J&J says: “After a comprehensive media review across our Consumer, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device businesses, J3 has been selected as our media partner for each of our regions, including Asia Pacific, Latin America (excluding Brazil), Europe, Middle East and Africa. When we began the review in June, our goal was to select the best agency for each region. Throughout the course of our separate regional reviews, J3 consistently demonstrated the ability to fully meet our Consumer and Customer needs as we drive superior growth and performance for our businesses and brands.
“Throughout the review, each of our incumbent agencies demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the process, our people and business. With this new partnership, Johnson & Johnson will continue to drive leading media capabilities and we look forward to expanding our partnership with J3 around the world.”
You can’t say fairer than that and J&J, which spends rather more around the world than it does in the US, is welcome news for UM as it tries to rebuild itself as a global media contender. IPG CEO Michael Roth has made much recently of his company’s unwillingness to be drawn into programmatic trading on its own account, saying it just acts for its clients.
IPG, though, does have a big and highly profitable barter business in Orion as well as sports player Octagon.
There’s billions of media money still at stake in the $30bn round of media reviews so it’s too early to call a winner. IPG will be more than happy with its performance so far.