Mediaedge:cia wins further $200m of Novartis billings

Mediaedge:cia has picked up an additional $200 million of billings following a global media review by the Swiss drugs giant Novartis.

MEC has won all of Novartis' over-the-counter, pharmaceutical and CIBA Vision brands throughout the world with the exception of the US. This was retained by MindShare in the pitch.

Novartis kicked off a media review last year in a bid to consolidate its brands into one network. In the UK, MEC was the incumbent on the OTC division while MediaCom handled the CIBA Vision and pharmaceutical business.

The appointment of MEC follows the addition of DDB Worldwide to Novartis' roster of agencies following a review of its global ad business (Campaign, 19 November). DDB was selected to work alongside its sister Omnicom healthcare specialist Cline Davis & Mann and the New York outfit Deutsch.

The bulk of Novartis' adspend goes on its OTC brands, which include Nicotinell, the cold treatment Tixyplus and the painkiller brand Voltarol Emulgel.

Voltarol Emulgel recently signed as the sponsor of the ITV hospital drama series The Royal.

CIBA Vision manaufactures eye drops, contact lenses and contact lens solutions under the brand name Focus. Novartis' specialist pharmaceutical division includes treatments for eczema, asthma, epilepsy and other disorders including Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia.