Publicis is poised to land the UK launch of Advil, the US’s second
biggest-selling branded painkiller, following the loss of its pounds 3
million Anadin account.
Both products are manufactured by Whitehall Laboratories and industry
sources say the company has stripped Publicis of the Anadin account to
‘clear the decks’ for Advil, a move that is consistent with Whitehall’s
policy of not having all its major brands within a single shop.
Whitehall would not say where Anadin will go but a strong contender
could be Young and Rubicam, which remains an international roster agency
despite losing the UK Anadin account to Publicis 16 months ago.
Y&R is believed to have been a candidate for the pounds 5 million-
billing Advil, which will go on sale in Britain at the end of this month
in a bid to challenge established analgesics such as Nurofen.
Michael Conroy, the Publicis FCB group chairman, declined to comment on
the loss of Anadin or say whether Advil was about to fill the gap
created by its departure.
Whitehall says the move has nothing to do with the fact that Publicis
also handles the Asda account. The company has been in dispute with the
supermarket chain since June when it delisted Anadin Paracetamol in its
battle against price controls on over-the-counter drugs.
Publicis continues to handle the creative work for BiSoDol, an over-the-
counter indigestion remedy, as well as Centrum vitamins and minerals for
Although Advil is a huge brand in the US, where it is second only to
Johnson and Johnson’s Tylenol, its UK launch against well-established
products will be a difficult task for Whitehall.