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(April 4, 2001) -- Schering-Plough Corp. is continuing its sponsorship of Major League Baseball this season and will use New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza in a new ad campaign, the company said. Claritin will also become the sponsor of the in-stadium balloting process for this year's All-Star Game.

"Mike Piazza is an ideal spokesperson for this effort since he is an all-star athlete and a seasonal allergy sufferer who can speak from personal experience," said Rich Zahn, president of Schering Laboratories.

Claritin has been an MLB sponsor since 1999.

Mr. Piazza has a one-year deal with Schering. By next year, the company hopes to have its Claritin successor, Clarinex, on the market; that drug has been held up by the government for problems relating to Schering's manufacturing facilities.

This spring, Schering has been running ads from 1999 for Claritin that focuses on baseball as an American pastime. That work, from Claritin agency WPP Group's CommonHealth, Parsippany, N.J., is apparently laying the groundwork for Mr. Piazza's debut. -- David Goetzl

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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