The move follows the finalization of Pfizer's $57 billion acquisition of Pharmacia; the merged companies began operating as Pfizer Inc. April 16. Pharmacia spent $147 million in measured media last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.
Carat already is the media agency of
The incumbent shop was Grey Global Group's MediaCom.
"We are thrilled," said Charlie Rutman, president of Carat North America. "Nothing makes us happier than an endorsement from a current client."
Jon Mandel, co-CEO at MediaCom, confirmed the move and said that it was not unexpected. "Pharmacia doesn't really exist anymore," Mr. Mandel said. "It's now Pfizer."
Pharmacia's top-selling drug is anti-arthritis drug Celebrex, which it co-marketed with Pfizer, spending $72 million in measured media on the brand. MediaCom worked on the media planning for Celebrex while Carat performed the buying.
Dorothy Wetzel, Pfizer's vice president for U.S. consumer pharmaceuticals marketing, indicated Pfizer moved Celebrex planning to Carat late last year. Ms. Wetzel also said Pfizer will increase its marketing spending this year on Bextra, the successor drug to Celebrex that was launched last year with a modest campaign that spent less than $1 million.
Other drug brands
The largest direct-to-consumer drug that Pfizer gets from the deal and is part of the shift to Carat is Detrol, for overactive bladders, with spending of about $33 million a year. On the over-the-counter, or consumer health division, side, Pharmacia products that Pfizer acquired include Pediacare (children's cold medicine), Rogaine, Rogaine for Women, Dramamine, Nicorette and Nicotrol.