Advil Calls Review on $80 Million Account

Agency Search Comes as Rival Tylenol Is Under Fire

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NEW YORK ( -- Pfizer is taking a look at its agency roster again, this time inviting agencies to pitch creative duties on its $80 million pain-reliever brand Advil, according to several industry executives.

The pharmaceutical behemoth acquired Advil through its $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth Consumer Healthcare last year. WPP-owned Grey is the incumbent on the business and is understood to be defending. Representatives for the agency had no comment, while Pfizer did not return several requests for comment.

While the pitch is said to be managed by Santa Monica, Calif.-based consultancy Select Resources International, the company is understood to be targeting several East Coast shops in order to offer better proximity to its New York headquarters.

More than $80 million was spent to market Advil in 2009, with $52.1 million of that devoted to brand Advil and $28.5 million on Advil PM, according to Kantar Media data. That's down from the $103 million spent on Advil in total U.S. measured media in 2008.

The move is the latest in a slew of agency changes for Pfizer. The company recently named Omnicom Group's Tribal DDB as digital agency for Advil; consolidated under Aegis' Carat all of its media buying for Wyeth DTC brands; and moved ad duties for Viagra and Chantix to Dentsu's McGarryBowen from Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann family of agencies.

It's a good time to re-examine marketing for Advil as rival brand Tylenol, owned by Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare division, has been under fire for product recalls. On its website, Advil promotes the fact that its products are not part of J&J's issues.

Tylenol has a new lead creative shop too; Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., was tasked to take on the account from Interpublic sibling Deutsch, New York, earlier this year.

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