AGENCIES INCLUDE: Aegis's Carat Americas, N.Y. Havas's Arnold Worldwide and Euro RSCG Life LM&P, N.Y. Interpublic's BBDO Worldwide, Cline Davis & Mann and Merkley & Partners, N.Y. Publicis's Kaplan Thaler Group and Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare, N.Y. WPP's Berlin Cameron/Red Cell and JWT, N.Y.; CommonHealth, Wayne, N.J. Medicus Group International, N.Y.
POWER PLAY: The hostile environment developing around direct-to-consumer advertising caused Pfizer to take a long look at its ad strategy, and the company decided its message wasn't working. So, under Greg Duncan's guidance, Pfizer decided to change how it presents its advertising. The sea change will reduce TV outlays and boost Internet and radio, but perhaps most importantly, redirect ad messaging to focus almost exclusively on encouraging dialogue between patients and physicians. In was Ellen Brett, formerly a brand manager; out was consumer marketing VP Dorothy Wetzel. Helping call the shots in the middle is Mr. Duncan.
DOWNSIDE: As the world's largest pharmaceutical maker, Pfizer often gets kudos for setting the agenda. As the world's largest pharma maker, Pfizer also gets the lion's share of the industry's criticism. You knew something had to be up when Pfizer decided to put Lipitor into creative review. With that move, and a change in leadership from Ms. Wetzel to Ms. Brett, Pfizer is running the risk of perhaps alienating its existing agencies. The big question is: A year from now, will Pfizer have read the situation correctly?