McCann Unit HumanCare to Handle DTC; Initiative Gets Media

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Pharmaceutical company Sepracor today selected Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, and Initiative Media to handle direct-to-consumer advertising and media buying and planning responsibilities, respectively, for insomnia medication Estorra, according sources close to the situation.

New unit
McCann's newly formed DTC healthcare unit, HumanCare, teamed with Initiative to beat out Merkley Newman Harty, New York, a unit of Omnicom Group. Merkley did not pair with a media services agency in the pitch, an executive familiar with its presentation said.

Seoracor's spending plans on Estorra have not been disclosed.

This will be Sepracor's first DTC advertising effort for Estorra. Interpublic's Torre Lazur McCann Healthcare, based in Parsippany, N.J., currently handles professional advertising for Estorra.

No comment
Jack Britts, senior vice president for marketing and commercial planning at Sepracor, said the company's policy is to decline comment.

For McCann HumanCare, the win is particularly gratifying. Estorra is the new unit's first win as a defined entity within McCann. In beating Merkley Newman Harty, Mr. Schirmer, who joined McCann HumanCare in August, bested his former employer and the shop for which he, as its top creative executive, was a major architect. Mr. Schirmer led McCann HumanCare's presentation along with Maryann Kuzel, another HumanCare executive.