GSK hands global media account worth over a billion dollars to Publicis Media

GlaxoSmithKline has handed its global media business worth approximately US$1.5 billion to Publicis Media, Marketing understands. Publicis is said to have created a dedicated unit for the account. According to several media reports, all major media agency networks such as WPP, Publicis, Havas, Omnicom, Dentsu and IPG were invited to pitch for the account.

The pitch first called in March was being handled by ID Comms, according to Adweek. In Asia Pacific, Mindshare was understood to be handling the account. MediaCom handled the offline media account in EMEA and Essence handled the digital aspects of the account.  PHD is also an incumbent on the global account. Marketing has reached out to GSK, GroupM's Mindshare, Omnicom and Publicis Media for details.

Tony Harradine, CEO of Omnicom Media Group Asia Pacific said in a statement, "We are sorry to see such a great partnership come to a close in Australia and New Zealand. It’s been a very fulfilling client relationship, however we respect GSK's decision to move on."

In 2016, GlaxoSmithKlein also underwent an agency simplification process after it completed a deal with Novartis worth more than US$20 billion. The deal combined the two companies' assets. This then sparked rumours of the newly joint entities launching a review to restructure agency relationships.

In APAC, GSK has made headlines as it reportedly looks to sell of its Horlicks business. This has seen companies such as The Coca-Cola Company eyeing the brand for an estimated US$3.9billion, Sunday Telegraph reported. Coca-Cola is not the only company eyeing the Indian malt beverage, with other companies such as Kellogg, Unilever, The Kraft Heinz and Nestle, to a name a few, also reportedly to have “registered interest” in Horlicks, the article added.

GSK first announced a strategic review of Horlicks and other products earlier this year in March. This was in a bid to fund its stake in consumer healthcare joint venture. According to its most recent financial results, the company’s nutrition sales declined 7% at an annual equivalent rate, but grew 1% at a coupon equivalent rate to £154 million.