$11 Million Zicam Account Goes to McCann

Work Involves Homeopathic-Cold-Relief Brands

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Matrixx Initiatives, maker of Zicam homeopathic products, is slated to move its estimated $11 million advertising account for its homeopathic remedies from Kovel/Fuller to Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson, executives familiar with the move said.

Mike Voevodsky, Matrixx's vice president of marketing, declined to comment. Calls to Andrew Schirmer, president of McCann's health-care division, McCann HumanCare, were not returned at press time.

Matrixx spent $11.6 million in measured media to support Zicam products last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, and $6.7 million through the first seven months of 2004. The products include Zicam Allergy Relief, Zicam Cold Remedy, Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs and Zicam Extreme Nasal Spray.

Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel, the marketer's first Zicam product, is a patented, homeopathic remedy said to reduce the duration and severity of the common cold. But Matrixx has been hit with a pair of federal lawsuits, each with multiple plaintiffs, claiming the product has damaged users' sense of smell and taste. Matrixx said last month in a regulatory filing that its studies show the gel causes no such problems.