The budget is reported to be an initial $30 million that's likely to increase rapidly to embrace new brand launches.
The move has been brought about by the termination of a four year arrangement under which pharmaceutical rival Warner-Lambert had marketed Glaxo's over-the-counter drugs. That deal will officially come to a close by yearend.
Currently, Warner-Lambert agencies Bates Dorland, London, and J. Walter Thompson, London handle Glaxo Wellcome's OTC business. Bates has high profile brands Zovirax, the cold sore treatment and hayfever treatment Beconase, and JWT handles Zantac, the heartburn treatment, for example.
Gary Lyon, Glaxo Wellcome's U.K.-based general manager, OTC operations, is overseeing the pitch. Martin Sutton, Glaxo Wellcome's manager, corporate communications, says discussions with ad agencies - reportedly four international networks - are at a "preliminary" stage.
Copyright September 1998, Crain Communications Inc.