Tylenol Hires Zeno Group for PR Help

Edelman-Owned Shop Won Competitive Pitch to Create Consumer Outreach for OTC Brand

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Edelman's Zeno Group has been tapped to handle Tylenol's consumer PR business following a competitive agency review.

"McNeil Consumer Healthcare has completed an RFP process for a public relations partner to help create consumer-facing programs in support of some of its Tylenol product lines," said a spokesman from the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. "We are pleased to announce that Zeno Group has been selected to help us support these important products."

Following a series of recalls and manufacturing issues since 2010, J&J late last year began ramping up production and advertising for Tylenol. At the same time, there's been an uptick in media coverage about potential liver damage from overdoses of acetaminophen, including a ProPublica report that while 150 people a year die as a result of overdoses of the drug, manufacturers and the Food and Drug Administration have done little to warn people of the risks. In the wake of that September report, a growing number of class-action and individual lawsuits have been filed against J&J. The company has denied any wrongdoing and outlined steps it has taken in the past and plans to take in the future to alert people to the risks of overdose.

The spokesman declined to comment on whether the reports or lawsuits related to overdoses of acetaminophen led to the company hiring Zeno. He said: "Zeno's expertise in consumer public relations will be a complimentary addition to the ongoing work we do with other agency partners supporting Tylenol and other brands within our OTC business."

Zeno is known for its work with consumer brands. But Tylenol is now another notch in the shop's growing healthcare portfolio, which includes Merck, Astra Zeneca, Bausch & Lomb and Pfizer.

Tylenol spent $25 million on measured media in 2012, the last full year of available spending data, according to the Ad Age DataCenter.

Contributing: Jack Neff

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