Pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Wellcome has handed its pounds 40m
global creative and media account for over-the-counter brands to
The agency is charged with promoting ’switch brands’, products once
available only by prescription but now sold freely over the counter.
These include Zantac for indigestion, Zovirax for cold sores and
Beconase for hayfever.
Glaxo Wellcome is stepping up advertising for the three brands to arrest
sales declines in some markets since the loss of patents. Zantac, one of
the world’s top-selling drugs, accounts for 17% of Glaxo’s pounds 8bn
Sales of Zantac have declined in markets such as the US and Germany,
although they are increasing in the UK.
McCann-Erickson will produce new campaigns for TV, press and posters in
the UK, Western Europe and Australia. Media planning and buying will be
done by its subsidiary, Universal McCann.
McCann-Erickson pitched against Leo Burnett, Scholz & Friends and Bates
Dorland for the account, which will be co-ordinated from McCanns’ London
Advertising starts in the middle of this year in the UK, followed by
Western Europe and Australia.
Zovirax and Beconase were previously handled by Bates Dorland. Zantac
was looked after by J. Walter Thompson, which keeps the account in the
Gary Lyon, Glaxo’s general manager of OTC operations, oversaw the
three-month pitch process. He said the drive is ’an important milestone
in the growth of our self-medication business’.
Glaxo’s decision to appoint a global network follows the end of a deal
with rival Warner-Lambert, which held the marketing rights for Glaxo
brands in Europe, the US and Australia. Warner-Lambert continues to
market Glaxo’s OTC drugs in the US.