Sandoz, the generic pharmaceuticals division of Novartis, is a world leader in generic pharmaceuticals. With a history of more than 120 years, Sandoz develops, manufactures and markets high-quality affordable medicines following the loss of patent protection.


Following the completion of the Novartis global media review in 2011, which saw media planning and buying responsibility transition from WPP Group’s MEC to Starcom Mediavest Group, Sandoz Central & Eastern Europe had a new media agency with improved contractual terms, a clearly defined scope of work and a remuneration structure that incentivised Starcom Mediavest to achieve value creation targets.

Sandoz CEE engaged ID Comms to drive improvements in media understanding, practices and behaviours across 22 markets covering 15 brands. A core component of the brief to ID Comms was to provide Sandoz CEE markets with support in reviewing media agency strategies, plans and recommendations.


Utilizing ID Comms proprietary Planning Performance Monitor™ framework, industry best-practice and expertise was applied to the four key stages of Sandoz CEE media planning performance: agency briefing, strategy & rationale evaluation, media plan review and post-campaign analysis.

ID Comms developed a bespoke briefing template for Sandoz’s business requirements and reviewed all client-written media briefs via the Planning Performance Monitor™ assessment framework prior to them being issued to media agencies. This ensured that local Sandoz markets were providing SMG teams with the right direction to do their best work.

The Planning Performance Monitor™ framework was also employed by ID Comms consultants to review all media agency strategic responses to brief, providing Sandoz with guidance on how to feedback and challenge their agencies to refine recommendations, and to ensure that all recommendations were aligned with Sandoz planning principles. Subsequently, all media plans were checked against basic hygiene factors and requirements to ensure that they were completely aligned to the approved media strategy.

ID Comms consultants also reviewed post-campaign analysis reports provided by SMG. This provided Sandoz CEE with confidence that media deliveries were in line with agency projections. Where discrepancies were identified, ID Comms provided the Sandoz teams with support to challenge their media agency in the right way. ID Comms also ensured that the media agency provided Sandoz clients with valuable recommendations for future campaign optimisation, to drive on-going incremental improvements in media deployment.

The Planning Performance Monitor™ framework facilitated complete end-to-end planning compliance and quality control for Sandoz CEE. Throughout our involvement, ID Comms left a legacy of improved media knowledge within Sandoz CEE markets that would allow them to deliver on-going continuous improvements to media productivity in future years.


  • Unified approach to briefing across 22 markets covering 15 brands;
  • Clear, structured, action-focused evaluation responses at every stage of the planning process;
  • Expert advice on opportunities for driving improvements in media planning;
  • Streamlined go-to-market process;
  • Improved internal media knowledge within Sandoz CEE marketing teams; and

Significant improvements to media productivity measures – actual results are commercially sensitive.

“The feedback from all of the markets you provide media management support to has been consistently excellent, reflective of the real value of ID Comms’ expertise helping to drive improvements and greater productivity from our media investments. ”

Chief Marketing Officer, Sandoz