The pharmaceutical company, Bayer, has put its pounds 4 million UK
media planning and buying up for pitch, following the appointment of the
incumbent, Universal McCann, to the conflicting pounds 40 million
international media account of Glaxo (Campaign, last week).
Universal resigned the account when it heard it had won the Glaxo
Mediapolis and New PHD pitched on Wednesday of this week and a result is
New PHD’s sister company, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, holds the UK
creative account, and the global creative account is held within
Omnicom’s BBDO and DDB Needham networks. Mediapolis is linked to the
Euro RSCG network, which handles some of Bayer’s healthcare business in
Bayer’s major brands are the anti-thrush treatment, Canesten, and the
indigestion and hangover remedy, Alka-Seltzer, which enjoys the bulk of
its advertising expenditure. Other brands include Soothe Lip Cold Sore
Treatment and Advantage Flea Control.
Alka-Seltzer mainly advertises on TV and won a silver at the British
Television Advertising Awards in 1997 for AMV’s acclaimed ’lifeboat’
Bayer’s last major new product launch was in 1997, with Alka-Seltzer XS,
a hangover tonic aimed at younger consumers. It spent pounds 1.5 million
on a TV campaign over Christmas 1997, with an ad that shows a worm
escaping from a bottle of Tequila and diving into a fresh glass of Alka
Seltzer XS solution. The ads were rerun this Christmas.
Fiona Smedley, joint managing director of Universal McCann, declined to
comment, and no-one from Bayer was available for comment as Campaign
went to press.