Kaplan Thaler Grabs $300 Million Lunesta Account

Incumbent on Sleep-Aid Brand Was McCann Humancare

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Sepracor is shifting its $300 million creative advertising account for sleep-aid brand Lunesta to Kaplan Thaler Group from McCann Erickson Worldwide following a review, according to an executive close to the matter.

The incumbent, McCann Humancare -- the health-care marketing arm of Interpublic Group of Cos. McCann Erickson, New York -- attempted to defend the account, which Marlborough, Mass.-based pharmaceutical company placed into review late last year. Other undisclosed shops also pitched.

Media duties, handled by Interpublic sibling Initiative, were not affected.

Executives familiar with the matter said Cincinnati-based Clear Perspectives was the consultant handling the review; Clear Perspectives did not return calls seeking comment. Representatives for Kaplan Thaler and McCann referred calls to the client, which declined to comment.

Lunesta joins a Kaplan Thaler roster that includes Aflac, Continental Airlines and Outback Steakhouse. This agency is part of Publicis Groupe.

To market Lunesta, Sepracor spent $298 million on U.S. measured media in 2006, and $230.1 million between January and September 2007, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Sepracor, whose key rival in the insomnia drug market is Sanofi-Aventis' Ambien, is in the midst of pursuing an expansion of the Lunesta franchise abroad. Last year, it entered into alliances with GlaxoSmithKline and Eisai Co. for development and marketing of the drug internationally.
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