Zicam Puts $25 Million Creative Biz in Review

Incumbent McCann Erickson Not Expected to Defend Cold-Remedy Company's Account

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Zicam, the maker of cold remedies, is searching for a new creative agency to replace its agency of nearly five years, McCann Erickson, Los Angeles.

Zicam spent a total of $25 million in U.S. measured media to market its products in 2008.
Zicam spent a total of $25 million in U.S. measured media to market its products in 2008.
Zicam, which is owned by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Matrixx Initiatives, makes over-the-counter cough, cold and digestive health-care products. The company's flagship product, Zicam Cold Remedy nasal gel, is a patented, homeopathic remedy that is marketed as a way to reduce the duration and severity of the common cold.

Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned McCann picked up the account in late 2004. Sibling Universal McCann handles media duties, which are not affected by the review.

A McCann spokeswoman referred calls to the client, which confirmed the review. The marketer intends to select a new agency of record by June, and has retained Santa Monica, Calif., search consultancy Select Resources International to assist with the review, a Zicam spokeswoman said.

Executives familiar with the pitch say the company is reaching out to an initial group of about 10 shops that are a mix of independent agencies and large network offices. According to one person familiar with the matter, McCann does not plan to defend the account.

Zicam spent a total of $25 million in U.S. measured media to market its products in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence, up slightly from $22 million in 2007.

The marketer is in the midst of retooling its marketing strategy. As part of an earnings announcement earlier this year, the company noted that it has shifted marketing dollars from the third to the fourth quarter in order to better coincide with cold season. Of late, the marketer has ramped up a coupon strategy using Twitter, targeting individual consumers with discount offers.

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