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Account Pitch

GSK and Novartis review $1.5bn global media business

13 July 2015
GSK and Novartis review $1.5bn global media business

Pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Novartis are reviewing their collective £1bn ($1.55bn) global media agency roster, following the creation of a joint venture earlier this year.

In March, British company GSK and its Swiss rival Novartis announced a new consumer health joint-venture, as well as a number of of asset swaps worth more than $20bn.

GSK last reviewed its media two years ago, diving its then-estimated d $1.5bn global media planning and buying account between GroupM and Omnicom Media Group’s PHD. Novartis, meanwhile, used Starcom MediaVest Group for its global media.

According to a report in The Drum, GroupM, PHD and Starcom all reached the latter stages of the review, with Starcom dropping out of the pitch.

“GSK Consumer Healthcare is conducting a review of its current media planning has agencies following the completion of a joint venture with Novartis,” confirmed a GSK spokesperson.

“Starcom has decided not to pursue the opportunity at this time following ongoing discussions around the terms of the review. We would like to thank Starcom for the work they have done on behalf of the Novartis brands. Starcom will continue to service the business through a period of transition.”

GSK becomes the latest major advertiser to announce a review of its media arrangements, adding to the estimated $25bn-plus currently up for grabs.

Speaking to M&M Global last month, MediaCom’s global chief operating officer Toby Jenner described the clutch of reviews as a “once in a lifetime” opportunity for media agencies. Watch the full interview below.

Alex Brownsell, London

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