MCCANN-ERICKSON GETS $50 MILLION NOVARTIS ACCOUNT

Assignment Is for Hypertension Drug Lotrel

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Novartis AG, East Hanover, N.J., has awarded its $40 million to $50 million Lotrel account to Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, executives close to the review said.

Lotrel is a once-a-day medication for the treatment and control of high blood pressure and hypertension. The drug is one of the newer treatments to come out of Novartis' pipeline, having been given marketing approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last June.

Direct to consumer
Lotrel had previously been marketed to physicians, but Novartis now plans to advertise the drug to consumers.

McCann, which last week won the $145 million Capital One account, beat out sibling Deutsch, New York; WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, New York; and the Quantum Group, Parsippany, N.J.

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