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GSK hands global media account to Publicis

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has handed its global media work to Publicis Media, according to reports overnight.

Citing sources with direct knowledge of the process, AdWeek reported that GSK had narrowed its shortlist to four earlier in the week; PHD, GroupM, an unnamed Dentsu agency and a team from Publicis Media.

During what was described as an ‘ugly and disrespectful’ conclusion to the review, Publicis was awarded the $1.5b account.

GroupM agency Mindshare had handled GSK’s media work in Asia Pacific.

According to AdWeek, the process was price-driven with the final stages taking place at a hotel where each agency was informed of the news one by one. Sources told the publication it was akin to the elimination process of the Miss America Pageant, and an “ugly and disrespectful” conclusion to the review.

In a brief statement, the healthcare behemoth said: “GSK periodically reviews its media buying arrangements to ensure they are continuing to deliver the best value to the business.”

The review had kicked off in May.

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