Power Players, 2008: 21 - 25

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21 IAN
READ
PRESIDENT-WORLDWIDE PHARMACEUTICAL OPERATIONS
PFIZER
AD BUDGET:
$1.25 BILLION
AGENCIES INCLUDE:
  • Aegis' Carat, New York
  • Havas' Euro RSCG, New York
  • Interpublic's McCann HumanCare, New York
  • Omnicom's Cline Davis & Mann, New York
  • Publicis' Kaplan Thaler Group, Digitas Health, New York
  • WPP's Grey Healthcare Group, New York
  • POWER PLAY:
    Pfizer posted a 9% sales gain in the second quarter despite a 2% decline in the U.S. Currency effects helped, but a handful of drugs including painkiller Lyrica and cancer fighter Sutent, both up more than 50% in the first half, offset weakness elsewhere. Viagra sales were up 13% in the second quarter despite share gains by rivals. Celebrex continued to show there's life after controversy, with sales growth of 12%. Pfizer reached an agreement to forestall direct generic competition against blockbuster Lipitor until 2011. By then, Ian Read is hoping some drugs in the pipeline will help fill the gap.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Pfizer withdrew the Lipitor ads from Kaplan Thaler Group featuring artificial-heart pioneer Robert Jarvik, but they won't be forgotten soon. Mr. Jarvik, who doesn't practice medicine, also didn't row his own boat -- all for a drug whose efficacy at preventing heart attacks has been questioned. Even without direct generic competition, the $12 billion-plus blockbuster is losing share to rival cholesterol fighters. Unlike rivals heading for safety of consumer products, Pfizer sold its consumer unit to Johnson & Johnson in 2006.
    22 MICHAEL
    MENDENHALL
    CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
    HEWLETT-PACKARD CO.
    AD BUDGET:
    $786.6 MILLION
    AGENCIES INCLUDE:
  • Interpublic's DraftFCB, McCann Erickson, New York
  • Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
  • Publicis' ZenithOptimedia, San Francisco
  • POWER PLAY:
    Hewlett-Packard has gone from disparate and campaign-by-campaign marketing efforts to a focused, well-received marketing plan using a similar look and tone across product lines. This is especially true in its crucial PC division. Under Michael Mendenhall, 46, newly installed CMO and former Disney executive, the experienced marketing staff and longtime agency relationships keep HP effective on messaging. That helps keep HP the No. 1 PC seller in the world. Innovations such as the TouchSmart PC keep HP out in front of the competition.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Mr. Mendenhall faces the same shaky economy as the rest of the tech world, presenting a value and pricing challenge especially as low-cost PC maker Acer aggressively attacks HP's market share. HP also suffers from its association with Windows Vista, which is preinstalled on all new PCs, handing Apple's Mac an unwanted edge; its market share is already on the ascent. The HP marketing team faces the creative challenge of continuing to keep "The computer is personal again" fresh and innovative. Another worry is the usually strong printing and imaging division, which is facing an industrywide slowdown as consumers purchase less hardware and print fewer pages.
    23 HERB
    EHRENTHAL
    GROUP VP-GLOBAL ADVERTISING AND MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
    SCHERING-PLOUGH CORP.
    AD BUDGET:
    $1.09 BILLION
    AGENCIES INCLUDE:
  • Omnicom's BBDO, DDB, Merkley & Partners, New York
  • POWER PLAY:
    Herb Ehrenthal's company is looking to get beyond a difficult year through gains in its consumer- and animal-health-care businesses and a big acquisition of biotech company Organon. Second-quarter organic sales rose 1.4% -- not bad considering the hit Schering took on its joint venture with Merck. With Vytorin in particular facing steep declines, Schering is betting on what it believes is a strong pipeline of drugs.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Schering has been reeling since it released a study showing Vytorin is no more effective at preventing artery-clogging plaque than generic Zocor. (The drug combines Schering's Zetia and Merck's Zocor.) The findings sparked two congressional probes.
    24 BERNARD
    POUSSOT
    CEO
    WYETH
    AD BUDGET:
    $1.08 BILLION
    AGENCIES INCLUDE:
  • Havas' Euro RSCG, New York
  • Interpublic's McCann Healthcare Worldwide, Parsippany, N.J.
  • Publicis' Kaplan Thaler, New York
  • POWER PLAY:
    Wyeth issued an upside surprise in the second quarter, raising full-year expectations. But it still wants to diversify beyond pharmaceuticals. Bernard Poussot took another step in that direction by acquiring the Thermacare analgesic-heat-wraps brand from P&G. Wyeth can couple Thermacare with its Advil ibuprofen brand.
    DOWNSIDE:
    It's still not a very pretty picture. Pharmaceutical sales, still more than three-quarters of the business, were flat except for currency effects. And organic sales for the consumer-health business were up only 2%, with that coming entirely from outside the U.S.
    25 MICH
    MATHEWS
    SENIOR VP-CENTRAL MARKETING GROUP
    MICROSOFT CORP.
    AD BUDGET:
    $959.5 MILLION
    AGENCIES INCLUDE:
  • Interpublic's McCann Worldgroup, San Francisco
  • MDC Partners' Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami
  • WPP's Y&R, New York
  • POWER PLAY:
    Coming off a rocky marketing year, Microsoft made much more positive Vista moves in 2008, starting with the product itself. Solid software patches and renewed PR helped Vista garner renewed consumer enthusiasm. After a long drought, Mich Mathews, 41, and her team addressed both the critics of Vista and Apple's "Get a Mac" drubbing with Microsoft's own ads.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Unfortunately, the ads have garnered mixed and even negative reviews. Crispin Porter & Bogusky, hired to helm Microsoft's $300 million renewed Vista push, cast comedian Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates in widely panned buddy ads about nothing.
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