Yet another big advertiser has thrown its media business into review: Abbott Laboratories is gearing up for a competition that will begin early next year, sources close to the client said Thursday.
The process is global in scope and driven by the desire of client management to cut costs, sources said. Incumbent Mindshare, a unit of WPP's GroupM, is preparing to defend.
Mindshare officials declined comment, and representatives of Abbott Labs did not immediately respond to Adweek's request for information.
All told, the company spends nearly $150 million annually on U.S. advertising alone. By some estimates, that figure represents the lion's share of its annual outlay, owing to restrictions on pharmaceutical marketing overseas. Key brands include Ensure, Glucerna, PediaSure, Similac and many more across the nutrition and pharmaceutical spectrum.
In this incredibly active year for media reviews and agency upheaval, Mindshare has already been a big winner, adding U.S. and global chores for General Mills. All told, that client is believed to spend more than $1 billion on worldwide advertising annually.
In one of the biggest recent shifts so far, Johnson & Johnson consolidated its $2.5 billion global business with UM's J3. And this week, Travelocity confirmed its selection of Assembly for domestic planning and buying.