REVIEW FOR HEARTBURN DRUG NARROWED TO TWO

McCann, Merkley Newman Said to Be Finalists for Prevacid

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- TAP Pharmaceutical has narrowed the review for its heartburn drug Prevacid to two agencies, according to people familiar with the matter.

The two finalists are Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, which is pitching with sibling Gillespie Healthcare, Princeton, N.J., and Omnicom Group's Merkley Newman Harty, New York.

Incumbent is Gillespie
Gillespie is the incumbent

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on the account. Prior to Gillespie, the account was at Cordiant Communications Group's Bates USA, New York.

A spokeswoman for TAP would only say a decision has not been made.

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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