In an unusual move, pharmaceutical company Allergan has halted the transition of its U.S. media buying and planning business to Publics Groupe’s Spark Foundry and instead is sending the account to GroupM’s Mindshare, sources familiar with the matter told Adweek.
The sudden shift comes after Allergan concluded a review by selecting Spark Foundry as its U.S. media agency of record. After meeting with the agency following the selection, however, Allergan decided to end its transition and select Mindshare as its new media partner in the U.S., sources said. It’s unclear why Allergan decided to change course.
Mindshare was not immediately available for comment. Spark Foundry deferred comment to Allergan, and Allergan has yet to respond to a request for comment.
The decision means the account remains within WPP’s GroupM network. GroupM’s Mediacom, a longtime incumbent that was named media agency of record for Allergan’s consumer brands in the U.S. without a review in 2002 after previously handling media buying for its Botox brand, did not defend in the review.
Allergan spent $378 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2018 and $72 million in the first quarter this year after spending $448 million in 2017, according to Kantar Media.