JWT and McCann share Viagra ad business

Pfizer has spilt the pan-European advertising duties for its Viagra drug between JWT and McCann Erickson.

Viagra has split Euro account
Viagra has split Euro account

The appointment follows a pitch process that also included Rapp and TBWA. Pfizer kicked-off the Viagra review in January and does not currently have a retained agency on its pan-European Viagra advertising account.

McCann Erickson will be responsible for handling Viagra’s advertising activity, while JWT will target healthcare professionals with an ad campaign raising awareness of a "patient support programme" surrounding erectile dysfunction.

Advertising rules in the UK and some other European markets do not permit the direct promotion of prescription drug brands. However, previous TV advertising paid for by Pfizer has focused on raising general awareness of the issues surrounding erectile dysfunction. The footballer Pele featured in one such campaign.

The appointment of JWT will further strengthen the existing relationship the agency has with Pfizer. Last year the agency was appointed to handle the advertising account for a new "Viagra-like" product in development, which is planned to be made available for purchase over the counter later this year.

Digital and direct marketing activity for Viagra in Europe is currently handled by Rapp, which is affected by the appointments. The agency first picked up the £8 million account in November 2007, and has since been responsible for print, press and online activity for the brand.

Pfizer, JWT and McCann Erickson refused to comment.

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