Johnson & Johnson China set to quit Universal for OMD
HONG KONG - Johnson & Johnson is thought to be close to moving the media brief for its estimated $50m (£28.1m) consumer brands in China from Interpublic Group's Universal McCann to Omnicom rival OMD, according to Media Asia.
The account, including brands such as Acuvue, Neutrogena and Clean & Clear, carries an estimated ratecard spend of around $25m, but the account is thought to be worth as much as $50m according to reports.
The bulk of J&J's media spend in China however is believed to revolve around its babycare business, including products such as Johnson's Baby Oil and Johnson's Baby Lotion.
The early January pitch is though to have been precipitated by J&J shifting planning duties for its skincare labels to OMD late last year. Along with Universal and OMD, ZenithOptimedia also pitched. Zenith Media handles media for most of the brands managed by J&J's Beijing-based pharmaceutical JV, Xian-Janssen.
None of the agencies were able to comment on the proposed shift.
The shift would deliver a major blow to Universal's China operations, which experienced a management reshuffle last year, replacing China MD Kain Huang with Torie Henderson, former global media director on the Cathay Pacific account.
Universal's parent Interpublic Group is thought to have mustered resources across the group to defend the account, with regional COO of media sibling Initiative, King Lai, called in for support.
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