LEVERKUSEN—Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, has selected Omnicom Group and WPP as its primary global marketing services partners for its four business units: Bayer Schering Pharma/Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Bayer HealthCare Animal Health, Bayer HealthCare Consumer Care and Bayer HealthCare Medical Care.
Among the Omnicom public relations firms that currently work with Bayer HealthCare businesses are Fleishman-Hillard and Ketchum. The company also works with WPP-owned agencies Cohn & Wolfe, Hill & Knowlton, and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. How the PR business will be allocated among those firms is yet to be decided.
The consolidation of marketing services agencies goes into effect immediately and is expected to be completed over the next 18 to 24 months. Ultimately, marketing communications engagements now handled by over 400 disparate agencies around the world will be consolidated; in all, approximately 50 Bayer HealthCare brands will be affected, including all its major global, regional and launch brands.
According to Bayer HealthCare CEO Arthur Higgins: “Our initiative on global marketing and media services was undertaken to help us achieve increased consistency across marketing disciplines, markets and targets and enable us to deliver more effective and creative work in more markets, more quickly. Additionally, we believe this change will enable us to drive significant improvements in performance and efficiency on our leading brands.”
He says the company expects to realize savings of around 10 percent, “while significantly improving the quality and effectiveness of all of our communications.”