GlaxoSmithKline concluded the mandated global media review it launched in May with the selection of custom Publicis Media team as its global media agency of record.
“GSK periodically reviews its reviews its media buying arrangements to ensure they are continuing to deliver the best value to the business,” said GSK.
Earlier this week, GSK narrowed the review—which was handled by ID Comms—down to four finalists: incumbents PHD, GroupM, an unspecified Dentsu network and a custom Publicis Media team. PHD formerly handled the North American media business.
Within GroupM, MediaCom handled the offline media account in EMEA, while Essence handled the digital account in the region and Mindshare handled media in the Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions. These agencies pitched together as GroupM during the review. PHD and MediaCom previously defended their portions of the business in a 2015 global media review.
The sources claimed the final stages of the review saw the client assemble all four remaining agencies at a hotel, pitting them against each other before delivering the news to them one by one until finally revealing its selection of Publicis. These sources characterized the final process of the review as “ugly and disrespectful,” comparing it to the elimination of finalists in the Miss America Pageant.