Pharmacia & Upjohn, the pharmaceuticals manufacturer, is embarking on a worldwide review of its consumer brands and is kicking off the activity by putting the international creative account for the Nicorette brand up for review.
The review follows a recent management restructure and is expected to see Regaine, the hair-loss treatment, and other professional healthcare brands put up for pitch.
The business for the Nicorette nicotine gum, patches and inhalers is worth pounds 28 million worldwide.
Sources say BMP DDB will repitch for the business next week, but the rest of the shortlist remains under wraps.
BMP, which handles the brand in all markets outside the US and Canada, was awarded the account in 1998.
The market for nicotine replacement therapy is booming. Industry estimates say that the UK market is growing 22 per cent by value year on year. It is worth approximately pounds 65 million - half of which is gum. Nicorette, which is the market leader, was launched in 1978 and is growing by 25 per cent per year.
BMP's debut work featured tense sailors trapped on a submarine to illustrate the power of the Nicorette patch. Earlier this year, the agency launched a TV campaign to support the inhaler.
Pharmacia and BMP would not comment on the review.