J&J urges closer media-creative ties

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Johnson & Johnson has issued a call for greater collaboration between its communications planning and creative teams.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Johnson & Johnson is asking all of the companies competing for its $3 billion global media buying and planning account—which includes Interpublic Group and Omnicom Group— to create a new division to handle the communications planning, or consumer-research, duties.

Those divisions, which are now housed inside the media-buying firms, would work more closely with Johnson & Johnson's various creative agencies.

“We are looking to the agencies…to improve the model,” Johnson & Johnson's global media chief Kim Kadlec, told The Journal. Kadlec said she believes the separate division will ensure that consumer research will have a greater impact on the type of ads that get created.

J&J's comments came just a month after Procter & Gamble, the largest US advertiser by spending, offered a similar critique of the advertising process and shifted all of its ad and marketing duties for its Oral B brand to a newly created team at Publicis Groupe, which will work solely on the brand.

If P&G's Oral B Test is successful, P&G may do the same with its other brands.

Earlier this year, J&J displayed its desire to reunite planning and creative when it moved planning duties for its OTC painkiller Tylenol to Interpublic's Deutsch, which handles creative function for the pain reliever.

Tylenol had previously been overseen by Universal McCann, one of Interpublic's media-buying and planning units.

J&J told The Journal it may eventually go one step further and fold the planning function entirely back into the creative agencies.

“We could get to the point where we just fold it, but for now this is just the next logical step,” Kadlec said.

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