J&J chooses new Hispanic agencies

Johnson & Johnson has picked Vidal Partnership and La Comunidad to head up its US Hispanic account, which has an estimated value of close to $75 million.

J&J and La Comunidad declined interviews. J&J spokesman Marc Monseau said only, “We really don’t have anything more to add beyond the fact that Vidal and La Comunidad have been selected, and that it reflects our interest in working with the best and the brightest.”

The two agencies were selected after a 20-agency review. The five finalists in the review — La Comunidad, Zubi Advertising, Alma DDB, Dieste Harmel & Partners and Vidal — did not include J&J’s three incumbent Hispanic agencies. 

No campaign plans have been made yet.

“We haven’t started anything,” said Alberto Ferrer, Vidal managing partner and director of direct and digital. “I would hope that our track record, with our existing clients, our reputation in the marketplace, our well-developed market-leading direct marketing and digital capabilities led them to choose us.”

He added that Vidal and La Comunidad would likely be dividing work by brand or company, rather than sharing campaigns. Vidal has had some experience with pharmaceutical companies, which could lead to assignments with J&J’s pharmaceutical arm, but the agency’s client roster spans a number of other companies, including Sprint/Nextel, Kraft, Wendy’s, Heineken, Home Depot and Royal Caribbean. La Comunidad has done work for Miller, Best Buy, Nordstrom, MTV and Rolling Stone, among others.

Ferrer indicated that direct and digital would be a focus in future campaigns. “I think direct and digital marketing in general is an area that we have overdeveloped, vís a vís the average Hispanic agency,” he said. “It was an early investment in our history, something we knew we would need, and our largest group internally works on that.”

In the field of Hispanic marketing, Ferrer sees great growth potential, and he expects other US companies to increase their efforts.

J&J, headquartered in New Brunswick, NJ, manufactures health care products and provides services for the consumer, pharmaceutical, and medical devices and diagnostics markets. The company reported sales of $61.1 billion for 2007.

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