Bayer Reviews $546 Million Media Account

Incumbent Initiative Expected to Defend U.S. Business

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Bayer's U.S. media account is in the early stages of a review, according to industry executives.

It's understood that incumbent Initiative , an Interpublic Group agency, will compete for the business. The German pharma giant spent $546.7 million in U.S. advertising in 2010, per Ad Age 's DataCenter. Initiative referred calls for comment to the client; Bayer did not immediately return a call for comment.

The agency, which handles U.S. planning and buying for Bayer's health-care and consumer-care divisions, was able to hold onto its account during a global agency consolidation that began in 2009. At the time, the company consolidated all planning and buying responsibilities outside the U.S. within WPP's Group M.

Prior to the pitch in 2009, the company had consolidated the two divisions within Initiative as part of a review for the health-care account. The incumbent on that piece of business years ago was WPP's MEC. Initiative lost its SC Johnson account earlier this year, after a review that also struck a blow to its IPG partner DraftFCB.

Bayer's worldwide sales in 2010 were up 7.2% over 2009, to $46.6 billion, according to the Data Center. U.S. sales were up 0.2% to $9.4 billion. The company's brand portfolio includes Bayer, Aleve, One A Day, Yaz and Alka-Seltzer, among others.

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