Surprise: J&J moves $1B U.S. media buying account back to Interpublic

Apparently you can go home again. Just a year after switching U.S. media buying partners, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) is taking its $1 billion media account back to J3, a J&J-dedicated unit inside Interpublic Group's UM, reports Advertising Age.

The move from Omnicom's OMD includes all media planning for J&J pharma, consumer and medical device brands. Media buying is not included as it had remained at UM's J3 when the account moved in May 2014.

J&J is also in the midst of a global media buying review, estimated to be worth $2.6 billion, Ad Age reported in May when it was announced. At that time, J&J specifically said it was not including the North American media in the review. Something changed, obviously.

J&J Media and Connections Director Luke Kigel

A J&J spokeswoman told Ad Age, "After careful consideration, we have decided to reintegrate our U.S. media buying with J3 for our consumer, pharmaceutical and medical device brands. Omnicom and OMD remain important partners for us around the world, delivering outstanding work that drives our business."

No additional reason was given for the move, although Ad Age did observe that J&J's newly hired (9 months ago) media director in the Americas had managed the J&J and UM digital marketing strategy relationship before it moved, and worked as a senior VP at UM before joining J&J.

While J&J spends more of its advertising media budget on consumer products, pharmaceuticals lead the other two divisions, consumer and medical devices, in sales.

- read the Ad Age coverage

Special Reports: The top 10 advertisers in Big Pharma | The top 10 most-advertised prescription drug brands

Read more on