Bayer Searches For Shop To Handle Digital Creative and Media

Marketer Seeks To Shift From TV-Centric To 'Channel-Agnostic' Organization

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Credit: Courtesy Bayer

Bayer is searching for a digital creative and media agency of record for its Bayer Consumer Care division.

The consumer care group includes its flagship Bayer Aspirin brand, as well as Claritin, Afrin, Aleve, Midol, One A Day and a host of other products. The consolidation, which is for the U.S., is being run by Avidan Strategies.

Bayer in December consolidated creative work for Merck brands -- that company's consumer over-the-counter brands were acquired by Bayer a year ago -- with Omnicom's EnergyBBDO and WPP's JWT, both of which were already on the roster. BBDO handles Claritin, Aleve, AlkaSeltzer and Afrin and Bayer Aspirin, among others; JWT, through its Team Life group, handles Berocca, Coppertone, Miralax and Phillips. The two agencies' creative accounts are not affected by the review, according to people familiar with the matter.

While those agencies handle some digital projects (and other agencies, like WPP's Geometry, handle various digital for brands), the company is now looking to consolidate all that work.

Other agencies on the roster include WPP's Mediacom, which handles all media, including digital, though Mediacom is expected to remain lead media agency.

A representative for Bayer did not respond to requests for comment.

According to the request for proposal, the division spends almost $500 million annually, but the company is looking to contemporize and expand its marketing beyond TV.

"Almost all of this is in traditional channels, more specifically broadcast," the document said. "A key challenge for BCC's digital partner is to help shift its marketing culture from that of a traditionally TV- centric organization to a channel-agnostic organization that maximizes digital."

The RFP continued: "BCC digital marketing is currently product-centric, and each brand team constantly reinvents the wheel and the agency roster is siloed. The intention is to shift to a consumer-centric solution and establish enterprise-wide best practices and fully integrated platforms.Toward that end, they intend to consolidate their agency roster in order to standardize strategy and approach, and the winning agency will help establish best practices."

Bayer is the 36th largest advertiser in the U.S., according to Ad Age's Datacenter, with $1.09 billion in total spending in the U.S, last year. Network TV alone last year received about $190 million in measured media spending, according to Kantar Media.

The largest brand from a U.S. advertising perspective is Aleve, which had $100 million in measured media last year. Claritin is the company's second-largest spending brand, with $89 million.

Bayer's other divisions include Bayer CropScience and Bayer Animal Health.

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