Schering-Plough Said to Spend $30 Million on Allergy Drug

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DETROIT ( -- Schering-Plough has awarded creative duties on its nasal allergy spray Nasonex to Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, executives involved in the review said.

'Nothing to announce'
A Schering-Plough spokeswoman said she had "nothing to announce at this time," a day after she said the pharmaceutical company had not awarded the business to BBDO. BBDO referred calls to the client.

Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, and the incumbent, WPP's Quantum Group, Parsippany, N.J., were the other finalists.

$30 million ad budget?
Executives said Schering-Plough was willing to commit up to $30 million on Nasonex, but that appears debatable. Schering-Plough did not have any measured ad spending on Nasonex in 2003, according to TSN Media Intelligence/CMR. The company spent $14 million in measured media on the allergy medication in 2002, but did not have a TV presence. Most of the advertising came in the form of print campaigns.

It is also doubtful Schering-Plough will spend up to $30 million on Nasonex for the full year unless BBDO rushes a campaign into the market in time for the upcoming spring allergy season.

Rival Flonase
Schering-Plough did invest $41 million in Nasonex in 2001, and pharmaceutical industry experts said the drug maker would be willing to up its media buy if main competitor Flonase, the GlaxoSmithKline allergy medication that has a 50% market share, was going over-the-counter as expected. But it doesn't appear that Flonase will become an OTC product until 2006 at the earliest.

Schering-Plough is based in Kenilworth, N.J.

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