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GSK picks WPP for Panadol’s global creative, digital and PR accounts

WPP has held onto the global creative account for GlaxoSmithKline’s Panadol painkillers while picking up the brand’s PR and digital duties.

The combined account were opened to a competitive pitch in May. WPP’s Grey Group was the incumbent for the creative account while Havas and Edelman held the digital and PR roles.


Under the new deal, WPP will be responsible for Panadol’s global creative campaigns and content along with the brand’s PR and communications.

GSK handed its own $1.5bn global media account to Publicis two weeks ago, in what was described as an ‘ugly and disrespectful’ process that saw WPP’s Mindshare lose the Asia Pacific work.

WPP is to set up a team dedicated to the account led by Konstantin Popovic, Grey’s Singapore CEO who was previously responsible for the GSK creative account.

In the new team, Popovic will be taking staff from companies within the WPP camp, including Geometry, Grey, Hill & Knowlton, Ogilvy CommonHealth and Wunderman.

According to AdAge, GSK spent about US$1.7 billion on advertising in 2017. Its major brands include Panadol, Sensodyne and Voltaren.

Michael Duffy, global business lead for Panadol, GSK Consumer Healthcare, said: “Through the pitch process we were looking for an agency offering with real end-to-end capabilities and strong creative excellence to help us take Panadol to the next level and WPP really stepped up to the brief. We were particularly impressed by the potential of the one holding company model to cut out complexity, drive efficiency and deliver the best for the brand.”

CEO of WPP, Mark Read, added: “Panadol is a great brand and we are delighted to have been given the opportunity to use our creativity, data and technology to drive its growth around the world. Clients are increasingly asking for fully integrated offers and WPP is best placed to provide those solutions.”

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