More than 200 Burnett employees from the Chicago, London, Paris and Berlin offices contributed to the pitch. The account will be managed from Chicago.
New York-based Pfizer entered into an agreement last year with AstraZeneca, the London-based maker of Nexium, to buy the drug's over-the-counter rights. Under the terms of the deal, Pfizer paid $250 million plus future royalties for the right to market over-the-counter Nexium globally. Pfizer intends to first sell OTC Nexium in the U.S. next year, when the drug loses patent protection, before expanding to other markets.
Nexium, with third-quarter 2012 sales of more than $1.4 billion, was the top-selling drug in the U.S. for that period, according to Drugs.com. Nexium pulled in $4 billion overall last year. The brand was supported with about $18 million on U.S. measured media in 2011, according to Kantar Media.
Through a spokeswoman, Burnett executives declined to comment. However, in a memo to employees, Burnett CEO Tom Bernardin called Nexium "a game-changing opportunity" for Pfizer and a "tremendous opportunity" for Leo Burnett. In 2011, Pfizer tapped Leo Burnett as its creative agency in Taiwan, an account worth an estimated $4 million.