Pfizer shakes up creative duties, moves global account to Publicis

Adgully Bureau |

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has announced the transfer of its global creative duties from Interpublic Group's FCB and IPG Health to Publicis, merely 10 months after consolidating its business with the two holding companies.

While IPG retains Pfizer's PR account, including firms like Weber Shandwick and Golin under the Dxtra Health umbrella, Publicis will now take on the mantle of Pfizer's creative endeavors. Pfizer confirmed that this shift aims to fully integrate creative services into the existing Publicis structure, which already encompasses data, media, and production.

"A flexible, two-agency partnership" is how Pfizer described its arrangement with Publicis and IPG, emphasizing their respective roles in driving cutting-edge, data-driven integrated marketing communications centered around Pfizer's scientific innovations and breakthroughs.

This move marks a significant evolution in Pfizer's marketing strategy. Last May, IPG was entrusted with global creative responsibilities, while Publicis Groupe was tasked with media planning and buying duties. The account, valued at a staggering $1.41 billion.

Previously, Pfizer collaborated with various agencies globally, including Dentsu's Carat and iProspect for media, and WPP's bespoke unit Team Pfizer for creative endeavors. The decision to review these accounts was prompted by Pfizer's appointment of a new global CMO, Drew Panayiotou, in August 2022.

Publicis has already been involved in creative production for Pfizer, notably spearheading the brand's Super Bowl commercial this year through Publicis Conseil and LeTruc/Publicis NY.

Despite increased advertising expenses, reaching $3.7 billion in 2023 from $2.8 billion in 2022 according to the company's annual 10-K SEC report, Pfizer reported its lowest annual revenue since 2020. Revenue dipped by 41% to $58.5 billion in 2023, down from a record $100.3 billion the previous year.

Pfizer's decision to shake up its creative agency lineup comes amid challenging market conditions and underscores its commitment to adapt its marketing strategies to navigate evolving landscapes.