EXCLUSIVE: Merck has awarded its lucrative media planning and buying duties in Asia-Pacific to ZenithOptimedia, with ZO’s local arm reappointed to the pharmaceutical giant’s account in Australia.
The move comes as part of Merck finalising its reported US$600 million global media review announced last October.
ZO has held Merck’s media account – worth in the region of $15 million – in Australia for over four years.
Ian Perrin (pictured), CEO at ZO, confirmed to B&T that the agency has been retained to look after Merck's communications, strategy, implementation, planning and investment here.
Although ZO has previously held Merck’s media duties in a couple of markets in Asia-Pacific, it will now take on responsibility for the entire APAC region.
Merck’s creative duties in Australia are split between Saatchi & Saatchi and Havas.
As part of the global review it's been reported that Havas will look after media planning and buying for Merck in Europe and Latin America.
Merck, which ranks among the world's leading pharmaceutical, chemical and life science companies, has an annual turnover in the billions and employs almost 40,000 people in over 60 countries.