PFIZER AND DEUTSCH SPLIT

Contract Stalemate Cited

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Pharmaceutical maker Pfizer and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch are splitting, according to agency CEO Donny Deutsch.

The New York-based advertising agency handles direct-to-consumer advertising for allergy medication Zyrtec and anti-depressant Zoloft, as well as for Valdecoxib, co-marketed by Pfizer and Pharmacia Corp.

Compensation agreements
The move comes as New York-based Pfizer is renegotiating compensation agreements with its advertising agencies. Deutsch has two of Pfizer's biggest direct-to-consumer accounts, together worth more than $120 million in billings.

"We cannot come to an agreement over a contract," Mr. Deutsch said. The agency's relationship with Pfizer dates from 1999 when it won direct-to-consumer advertising for Zyrtec.

A spokesman for Pfizer did not comment.

Renegotiation talks
According to executives, Pfizer began compensation renegotiation talks almost a year ago and hopes to conclude them before its merger with Pharmacia is completed, a move that is expected to happen prior to the end of the first quarter.

According to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, Pfizer spent $50.5 million on direct-to-consumer advertising for Zoloft, and $74.4 million for Zyrtec.

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