- Glaxo Wellcome, the pharmaceutical giant, has concluded its hunt for an agency to handle its multi-million-pound non-US global advertising business by appointing McCann-Erickson.
McCann-Erickson will handle Glaxo in Western Europe and Australasia. It will work on the marketing of high-profile Glaxo brands including Zantac, Zovirax and Beconase.
The agency won the business following a three-month pitch against agencies including Leo Burnett and Scholz & Friends. The pitch was led out of McCanns London, which will co-ordinate creative and strategic development on the business.
Ben Langdon chief executive of McCanns London, said: "We pitched very hard for this business and intend to do an excellent job for them. It's an important win for McCann and consolidates our position as the leader in global brand advertising."
The pitch came about following the end of a joint venture agreement between Glaxo and its rival pharmaceutical company, Warner-Lambert. Since 1994, Warner-Lambert has marketed over-the-counter medicines on behalf of Glaxo.
Zovirax, the cold-sore cream, and Beconase, the hayfever treatment, were handled by Bates Dorland, while Zantac, the heartburn treatment, was with J. Walter Thompson.
Glaxo is thought to have discussed the possibility of the agencies retaining the brands alongside their Warner Lambert business. This idea, however, is thought to have fallen through due to client conflict.
Glaxo will start advertising next year with an initial $30 million spend. However, the budget is expected to increase as new brands come onto the market.