PFIZER INVITES FIVE NON-ROSTER SHOPS FOR REVIEW

Agencies to Pitch This Week for Top Drug Accounts

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Pfizer has invited five non-roster agencies for a capabilities presentation this week for its Zyrtec, Zoloft and Bextra prescription drug direct-to-consumer accounts, the company said.

Pfizer would not disclose the five non-roster shops, and Dorothy Wetzel, vice president of consumer health care, said some of the pharmaceutical company's roster shops are also included in the pitch, which she expects to wrap up in the second quarter.

Whittled from 15
The five non-roster shops were whittled

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from 15. Pfizer's roster agencies include Omnicom Group agencies Cline Davis & Mann, Merkley Newman Harty, TBWA/Chiat/Day and Lyons Lavey Nickel & Swift; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Gotham; and Grey Global Group's Grey Healthcare Group.

The Zyrtec, Zoloft and Bextra accounts became available after Pfizer earlier this year parted with Interpublic's Deutsch, which handled all three. The drug company and the agency had disagreements during renegotiation of compensation agreements.

Though spending on the anti-arthritis drug Bextra was less than $1 million in 2002, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, Zyrtec and Zoloft are two of Pfizer's prized accounts.

Pfizer spent a combined $120 million in measured media on the allergy drug Zyrtec and the anti-depressant Zoloft last year.

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