GlaxoSmithKline consolidates Pfizer consumer brands under Publicis Media specialty unit

GlaxoSmithKline GSK House in Brentford, UK
Publicis Media's platformGSK is now home to all GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer consumer health brands' media planning and buying. (GSK)

GlaxoSmithKline has awarded Publicis Media and its bespoke platformGSK more business, adding the former Pfizer Consumer Healthcare brands to its portfolio. The unit already held GSK consumer health's estimated $1.5 billion media account.

The latest move, decided without a review, adds an estimated $400 million in media buying and planning with Pfizer brands such as Advil, Centrum and Caltrate now joining platformGSK. GSK and Pfizer finalized the all-equity transaction joining the two consumer health product groups in August; GSK retains a majority 68% stake in the joint venture.

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GSK has already announced its plans to spin off the joint venture within three years and list it as standalone company on the U.K. exchange as GSK Consumer Healthcare, leaving the pharma giant to focus on medicines and vaccines.

Publicis created platformGSK last fall when GSK awarded the agency its estimated $1.5 billion in consumer health media. Publicis created the custom platform to specifically run the business, beating out incumbent media agencies Omnicom’s PHD and WPP’s GroupM.

The sub-agency allows the team a singular focus, and it also allows Publicis to hold other pharma media accounts without conflict. For instance, Publicis Groupe also created NovartisONE2 in August to handle Novartis’ $600 million global media account.

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“We are thrilled to extend our partnership with GSK to span the legacy Pfizer Consumer Healthcare business as well. A testament to the strength of the platformGSK model and the work we are delivering together, we look forward to driving further transformation and results across the consolidated business," platformGSK said in a statement.