Pharma Giant Merck Begins Global Creative Review

Pharma Giant Merck Begins Global Creative Review

Steve’s breakdown: My ex-competitor, Avi Dan who was at Saatchi back in the day, is handling this pitch which is estimated at $1 billion. The featured ad is my fav Merck ad. Enjoy!

UPDATE, August 24: The Merck & Co. consumer brands in play in the company’s global creative review are Dr. Scholl’s, Miralax and an incontinence drug for women that’s shifting from prescription to over-the-counter sales.

The company’s initial request for proposals doesn’t name the incontinence drug. Collective media spending on the business in review is estimated at $50 million.

WHITEHOUSE STATION, NJ: Health-care titan Merck — parent to brands such as Claritin, Nasonex, Dr. Scholl’s and Coppertone — is embarking on a global creative agency review, according to various industry executives.

A request-for-information document has been circulated to global agencies by the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based marketer in recent days. The RFI indicates that the company, which in 2010 ranked as the world’s No. 3 prescription-drug marketer behind Pfizer and Novartis per market research firm IMS Health, is seeking global marketing ideas for its consumer health-care business. According to the RFI, the consultant conducting the process is New York-based Avi Dan Strategies.

The consultant did not immediately return an email inquiry seeking comment, and neither did representatives for Merck.

Media duties, which were consolidated at Interpublic Group of Cos. last year following Merck’s acquisition of Schering-Plough, are not believed to be affected by this review. It’s likely Merck is looking to consolidate its creative duties across fewer agencies; it has bits and pieces of its advertising handled by shops spread across several holding companies, including Havas, Publicis and Omnicom.

According to Ad Age’s Datacenter, Merck is the 38th largest national advertiser, spending $921.1 million in the U.S. alone. Globally, the company is estimated to devote well over $1 billion to advertising.


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