Bayer Consolidates Global Companion Animal Business With Omnicom

BBDO and Proximity will lead the account

Bayer's Companion Animal account goes from being handled by multiple agencies to BBDO and Proximity.
Bayer

German pharmaceutical behemoth Bayer has consolidated its Companion Animal global account, which includes the Seresto, Advantix, Advantage and Drontal brands, with Omnicom’s Proximity and BBDO following a review that began in April.

The account will be led by an integrated team from the two agencies based out of Dusseldorf, Germany, with additional support from CLM BBDO in France, DLV BBDO in Italy and Energy BBDO and Barefoot Proximity in the U.S. The agencies said in a statement that other specialist agencies from Omnicom will be pulled for projects as needed.

Bayer spends about $150 million globally on marketing for its Companion Animal business, according to research from R3.

“We’re looking forward to working with our new and trusted partners who will support us in further driving the business of our global Companion Animal brands,” Mario Andreoli, Bayer Animal Health head of marketing, said in a statement. “Together with Omnicom and its global operating network, we will be able to efficiently leverage our marketing and communication strategies across countries and thus strengthen our role as one of the international leaders within the Companion Animal Health business.”

The account will transition to Proximity and BBDO by the end of the year. The brief tasked the agencies with providing Companion Animal’s creative and digital communications strategy with its first global solution.

BBDO already handles Bayer divisions Consumer Health, Environmental Science and Crop Science.

Previously, Bayer’s Companion Animal business was handled by several agencies from different holding companies, although it is unclear exactly which ones.

People familiar with the matter said WPP’s VML handled the U.S. portion of the business, and a team pulled from VML and J. Walter Thompson competed to defend the account. A spokesperson for the agencies declined to comment.

“Being awarded the Companion Animal assignment builds on our existing relationships across different divisions at Bayer,” Mike Dodds, Proximity Worldwide global president, said in a statement. “By bringing Proximity and BBDO together, we’re leveraging our collaboration ethos. This is an opportunity to create personal, scalable and unmissable experiences for Bayer’s customers of tomorrow and we are delighted to be appointed to this significant, transformational assignment.”

The win comes on the heels of Omnicom reporting a weak second quarter earlier this week. The holding company failed to meet revenue expectations and saw its organic growth fall in North America and the U.K., sending its stock down.

Companion Animal spends about $43 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media’s estimates from 2017.

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