Glaxo Wellcome has appointed McCann-Erickson to handle its
over-the-counter brands outside the US, following a pitch against Leo
Burnett and Bates Dorland.
The business is worth pounds 40 million and will be run from McCanns
London with media buying through Universal McCann. It includes Glaxo’s
flagship brands: the heartburn drug, Zantac; the coldsore treatment,
Zovirax; and Beconase, a hayfever remedy.
Advertising for Zovirax and Beconase was handled by Bates Dorland, while
Zantac was with J. Walter Thompson.
The review, which was announced in the autumn (Campaign, 25 September
1998), followed the end of a joint venture agreement between Glaxo and
its rival pharmaceutical company, Warner Lambert.
Under the agreement, Glaxo’s over-the-counter medicines were marketed
through Warner Lambert.
But the end of the agreement, which followed the merger of Glaxo and
Wellcome, threw up conflict because Bates Dorland and J. Walter Thompson
also handle competing Warner Lambert business.
McCanns is now working on a TV campaign, which will air in the UK in the
second half of this year before rolling out internationally. It also
plans press, poster and radio advertising across all the brands.
’We are thrilled to be working with a company of the calibre of Glaxo
Wellcome,’ Ben Langdon, the 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 McCanns and consolidates our
position as a leader in global brand advertising.’
Warner Lambert retains the marketing rights for Zantac in the US and
Canada, with Glaxo regaining the brand’s rights elsewhere. Future
products with the potential to switch from prescription to
over-the-counter will be marketed by Glaxo.