People knowledgeable about the industry estimated global sales of the brand at $100 million, but sales and shares had been falling for more than two years, despite heavy ad support, as a slew of rival products hit the market.
Wyeth could benefit from pairing the brand with its Advil analgesic brand, said one person familiar with the companies, noting that it could offer a "total solution" for chronic pain such as arthritis.
"ThermaCare is a great brand and a strategic fit for our pain-management franchise," Cavan Redmond, president of Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, said in a statement. "We are excited about the brand's growth potential. Millions of consumers have relied on ThermaCare for consistent, uniform heat to help them be as active as they want to be."
Hefty media budget
The small-for-P&G brand packs a relatively hefty media budget, with measured media spending last year of $29.5 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Publicis Groupe's Publicis Worldwide, New York, handles advertising. Sibling Starcom MediaVest Group handles media planning and buying, while WPP Group's Bridge Worldwide, Cincinnati, handles digital advertising.
Agencies for Wyeth include Grey Global Group, New York, for creative; TargetCast TCM, New York, for media buying*; and Kaplan Thaler Group, New York, though its Centrum account is in review.
The companies said they expect to close the deal within the next few months.
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report said Zenith Optimedia handles media for Wyeth Consumer Healthcare.