OMD seizes £30m Pharmacia brief

Pharmacia, the parent of the Nicorette and Regain brands, has

centralised the bulk of its global consumer healthcare account into OMD,

boosting the agency's billings by an estimated £30 million to

£50 million.



OMD seized the Pharmacia brief without a pitch and will take over

responsibility for the company in 18 countries, including the whole of

Europe, from the start of April.



The only countries where OMD will not handle the account are the US,

where MediaCom holds it, and Japan, where Dentsu is the agency of

record. Zenith Media was the incumbent in Europe, where it represented

the pharmaceutical giant in eight European states.



The win reinforces the Omnicom group's hold on the Pharmacia account -

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO won lead agency status on Nicorette's £35

million creative work in November 2000.



"Pharmacia was seeking greater efficiencies and a better understanding

of what works between markets and what doesn't. At OMD we can provide

the specialist resources and tighter controls to deliver this,"

commented Hilary Taylor, the general manager of OMD Europe, who is the

acting international account director and was instrumental in winning

the business.



She added that OMD had already started working to ensure a smooth

transition.



The Pharmacia account will be led out of OMD International's offices in

the UK. It was previously run out of Zenith's Swedish offices.



Pharmacia makes Nicorette nicotine gum, patches and inhalers, Regain

hair-loss treatment and specialist pharmaceutical treatments for

arthritis and cancer.



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