Online Exclusive: DTC Advertising

SAATCHI UNIT WINS LEVITRA AD ACCOUNT

$88 Million Spent on Erectile Dysfunction Drug Work in First Half of 2004

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Schering-Plough has awarded consumer advertising responsibilities for the erectile dysfunction drug Levitra to Saatchi & Saatchi Consumer Healthcare, according to executives familiar with the matter.
Related Stories:
FDA PANEL SAYS NO TO P&G's FEMALE SEX DRUG PATCH
Recommends Rejection of Intrinsa Bid for Marketing Approval
FDA SOUNDS NEW TONE ON DTC ADS
Cites 'Troubling' Findings in New Study
FDA ORDERS PFIZER VIAGRA ADS PULLED
Cites Unsubstantiated Erectile Claims in 'Mischief' Spot
CIALIS TO OFFER FREE SAMPLES OF RIVAL BRANDS
Ads Offer Viagra or Levitra to Dissatisfied Customers
MCCANN ERICKSON WINS $100 MILLION VIAGRA AD ACCOUNT
Beats Out Merkley and Partners for Pfizer Work
PFIZER TRYS FIRST PRESCRIPTION DRUG LOYALTY PROGRAM
Buy Six Orders of Viagra, Get One Free

The health-care-focused agency, which is a unit of Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, based in New York, bested the two other finalists, BBDO Worldwide and Merkley & Partners, both owned by Omnicom Group, after a review. The account's incumbent, Quantum Group of Parisippany, N.J., part of WPP Group's CommonHealth division, was cut in the review's earlier stages.

Calls to Schering-Plough, headquartered in Kenilworth, N.J., were not returned at press time. In the first six months of 2004, spending on Levitra was $88 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

No. 3 player
In the $2.4 billion erectile dysfunction market, Levitra is the No. 3 player behind Cialis and market leader Viagra, according to IMS Health, a Plymouth Meeting, Pa., research group. In the third quarter, Levitra logged a 1% increase in prescriptions over the previous quarter, while Viagra was off 3%. Prescriptions for Cialis, in contrast, surged 17% over the second quarter.

Schering-Plough in September assumed U.S. marketing duties for Levitra, which is made by German-based Bayer AG. Bayer and Glaxo Smith Kine had co-marketed the drug since its introduction to the U.S. in August 2003. The Quantum Group handled advertising since that time.

'My man'
Recent Levitra TV ads feature a woman wearing an oversized man's dress shirt and happily describing Levitra's effects on her partner, whom she often refers to as "my man." "Just look at that smile," she says, suggesting the medicine's impact makes him happy.

Competitor Pfizer in recent weeks was publicly rebuked by the Food & Drug Administration for a recently launched "Get Back to Mischief" campaign for Viagra. The FDA ordered Pfizer to pull the ads, saying the advertisements do not say what the medication is for or warn of potential side effects.

Most Popular