PREVACID ACCOUNT GOES TO MERKLEY NEWMAN HARTY

Omnicom Shop Gets $100 Million Creative and Media Assignment

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Omnicom Group's Merkley Newman Harty & Partners has been awarded the $100 million creative and media business for Prevacid, a heartburn drug from TAP Pharmaceutical Products.

Sibling media shop OMD will handle the media buying. The shops are based in New York.

Incumbent was Gillespie
Merkley faced off against

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the incumbent agency on the account, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Gillespie, Princeton, N.J., which pitched with New York-based siblings McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Universal McCann, for media.

"We are going to be working with [Merkley Newman] immediately on a campaign," a spokeswoman at TAP said.

The account generated $37 million in spending in 2001, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

TAP is based in Lake Forest, Ill., and is a joint venture between Abbott Laboratories and Takeda Chemical Industries.

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