McGarryBowen Takes Advil's $80 Million Creative Account

Shop Beats Out Incumbent Grey; Finalists Ogilvy and Arnold

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NEW YORK ( -- McGarryBowen has nabbed creative duties for Pfizer pain-reliever brand Advil brand's $80 million advertising account, according to people familiar with the situation.

WPP-owned Grey was the incumbent. Its sibling shop Ogilvy and Havas' Arnold were also finalists. Agency representatives could not immediately be reached for comment. Pfizer did not comment by press time.

According to people close to the situation, Grey retains Robitussin, Dimetapp, Alavert and one line extension of Advil -- Advil Cold and Sinus.

The pharma giant devoted a total of more than $80 million to marketing Advil in 2009, with $52.1 million of that spent on brand Advil and $28.5 million on Advil PM, according to Kantar Media data. That's down from the $103 million Advil spent in total U.S. measured media in 2008. Pfizer acquired Advil marketer Wyeth for $68 billion back in January 2009.

The move is the latest in a series of agency shifts made by Pfizer. Omnicom's Tribal DDB was named digital agency for Advil in March. Pfizer also consolidated all of its media buying for Wyeth DTC brands under Carat, estimated at $250 million in billings, and last fall moved Viagra and Chantix to McGarryBowen from the McCann family of agencies. In March 2009, Pfizer awarded digital and CRM duties, totaling nearly $20 million, for its Viagra brand to Omnicom Group's Rapp.

Pfizer's concentration on Advil also comes as rival brand Tylenol, owned by Johnson & Johnson, readies new advertising from new agency Martin.

McGarryBowen was named Ad Age's Agency of the Year for 2009. The agency, which recently announced the start of its global expansion with the opening of an office in London, picked up the Verizon Wireless business in April from Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson and Dr Pepper Snapple Group brands, Canada Dry, Sunkist and A&W Root Beer, in February from WPP's Y&R.

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