ZenithOptimedia lands Wyeth's £8m business

Wyeth, the consumer pharmaceuticals company, has consolidated its £8 million media planning and buying business in the UK into ZenithOptimedia.

The newly merged UK agency, which officially launched this week, won the account after a four-way pitch. Other agencies involved in the pitch, which was run through the AAR and Billetts Media Consulting, were Mediaedge:cia, Media Planning Group and BBJ.

ZenithOptimedia's appointment is a blow to Media-edge:cia, which previously held a £6 million chunk of the account. The agency handled Anadin and the baby nutrition brand SMA, which both spent heavily last year. The Wyeth brands Bisodol and Robitussin were also Media-edge:cia accounts.

Optimedia was the incumbent on the £1.5 million Centrum vitamin supplement business before its merger with Zenith. It won the business in 1996 after a pitch alongside its sister agency Publicis.

Wyeth, formerly known as Whitehall Laboratories, called the pitch last June in a bid to create buying efficiencies and encourage strong levels of planning across all its brands. Creative, which is held by Publicis, is unaffected by the media review.

The last agency review conducted by Wyeth was in 1999, when it shifted its Anadin creative from Grey to Publicis because of potential conflict with Grey's GlaxoSmith-Kline portfolio.

Mark Cooper, the director of brand marketing at Wyeth, said: "The proven creativity of the Optimedia team, now coupled with the additional leverage that the new ZenithOptimedia organisation brings, provided us with a solution that none of its competitors could match."

Mark Waugh, the executive director at ZenithOptimedia, added: "Having worked with Wyeth for a number of years, producing innovative work on Centrum, we now can't wait to start work on the full portfolio of products including such household names as Anadin."

Wyeth has just reported a 4 per cent increase in revenues for 2002. It attributed the improvements to a change in product mix and savings in its manufacturing operations.