|Saatchi & Saatchi will handle the U.S. Triaminic and Theraflue brands.
The brand moves to Saatchi are part of an ongoing re-evaluation of the marketer's assignments, said executives familiar with the matter. The consumer health-care unit is headed by a former Procter & Gamble Co. executive, Larry Allgaier, who joined Novartis in January.
A call to Novartis Consumer Health was not returned at press time.
Novartis Consumer Health, based in Parsippany, N.J. is a unit of Novartis AG, in Basel, Switzerland.
Saatchi, executives said, initially pitched for the account for Voltaren, a drug marketed in Europe, and on the basis of that performance was awarded responsbilities for it and other brands, Otrivin, currently marketed outside the U.S.; Theraflu; and Triaminic. The latter two are sold in the U.S.
Mary Baglivo, CEO of Saatchi's New York office, and chief marketing officer of the agency network, will oversee the business, which will be run out of the agency's New York and Geneva, Switzerland, offices, knowledgeable sources said.
Novartis spent $7.9 million in measured media in 2003 in the U.S. on Theraflu and $17.5 million on Triaminic, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.