It is only a few months since one of the world’s largest pharmaceuticals awarded its latest international media agency contract.

But now GSK is the latest big brand to pull some of the traditional functions of an ad agency in-house.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Scott Grenz, GSK VP and global head of media, explains that the company had two epiphanies that let it to an “inflection point” in reconsidering the relationship between a brand and its agencies…

  • Work carried out by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) which exposed transparency issues.
  • Privacy regulation which is now making targeting via third-party data pools more difficult.

“For me, that was like the call for us internally at GSK to take more accountability and ownership and really kind of push a transparency agenda,” Grenz says.

Grenz explains to Beet.TV how GSK is embarking at in-housing more, though not all, agency functions.

  • GSK is half-way through bringing media planning in-house, which began in January.
  • “We’re also looking at potentially smart in-housing of some of our digital buying – potentially programmatic, potentially search,” he says.

“Those are things that we have to primarily do in-house. We can’t have an agency do that for us,” Grenz says.

“The agencies knew coming in that this was our intention to do this and really it was about specific areas where we needed to have more ownership as appose to just saying, ‘We’re going to be an in-house shop’.

“These are things that we’ve spoken to all of our agencies about in the briefing process and we expect them to partner with us on that as well.

“If there are things that we can smartly take in-house and do ourselves and use those limited fees and redeploy them elsewhere, the things that agencies can uniquely provide to us, you know, that’s kind of the place we want to be.”

The in-housing is an ongoing effort over time, Grenz added.

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the ANA In-House Agency Conference. This series is sponsored by Extreme Reach. For more videos please visit this page.