Roche takes WCRS off UK roster after Sanatogen goes to DMB&B

WCRS has been dropped from the roster of the Swiss health goods manufacturer, Roche Consumer Health, after losing its pounds 3 million Sanatogen account to DMB&B.

WCRS has been dropped from the roster of the Swiss health goods

manufacturer, Roche Consumer Health, after losing its pounds 3 million

Sanatogen account to DMB&B.



The switch, which leaves Roche with just two roster shops in the UK -

DMB&B and Bates Dorland - comes five months after WCRS appeared to have

staved off a threat to its position on the business.



Roche called a review of the Sanatogen advertising account last summer

(Campaign, 21 August 1998) but after a two-month pitch process involving

all three roster agencies, the account did not move. Now, the client has

decided to shift responsibility for the range of vitamin products as

part of a strategic realignment.



’This is a straightforward UK appointment,’ Nigel Pike, the

international account director on Sanatogen at DMB&B, said. ’We have

been working very closely with Roche on the Supradyn multi-vitamins

brand since December 1997.



’Now, the decision has been taken to realign the (Sanatogen) account

with the roster agency that holds that side of the business.’



The last Sanatogen advertising created by WCRS was a press campaign

which attempted to open up a new market for the brand among men. The

ads, which appeared in men’s style magazines, played on the average

man’s penchant for unhealthy takeaway food.



Sanatogen is Roche’s biggest UK brand. Others include Redoxon and Rennie

which are handled by Bates Dorland, and Supradyn and Eleve which are

handled by DMB&B.



Sophia Smith, the director of marketing at Roche, refused to comment on

the appointment. Charles Vallance, the WCRS managing director, said: ’We

are disappointed, but you have to be philosophical.’



Sanatogen is facing increased competition from new vitamin brands and

own-label retailers including Boots, Holland & Barrett and the US

newcomer, Centrum.



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