Coppertone reviews pan-European task for sun-block brand

Coppertone, the sun-protection brand owned by the pharmaceutical

company Schering-Plough, is reviewing its multimillion-pound

pan-European business.

The sun-cream brand is in talks with an undisclosed number of agencies

about the task. There will be a two-round pitch for the international

account. It is not thought that the incumbent, McCann-Erickson

Manchester, will repitch.

Earlier this month, McCann was forced to resign its international

Reckitt Benckiser business because of a clash presented when its parent,

Interpublic, bought the Johnson & Johnson network FCB.

In the US, Coppertone is the leading brand in the market with more than

30 per cent of the market. The review is the first stage of the brand's

attempt to replicate the US success in Europe.

Coppertone is looking to run a strong consumer-led campaign and it is

searching for a network to help it implement this campaign in the key

European markets. The agency appointed will be briefed to contemporise

and redefine Coppertone's brand positioning.

In the UK and the rest of Europe, Coppertone faces tough competition in

the sun-protection market from established brands such as Ambre Solaire

and Uvistat. Own-label competition from the likes of Boots has also

eaten massively into the branded market.

However, the rising public awareness of the danger of skin cancer being

caused by sun over-exposure has also boosted sales of sun protection

products in recent years.

Between 1997 and 1999, sales of sun protection creams rose by 7.4 per


No-one at Schering-Plough or McCann was available to comment on the news

as Campaign went to press.

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