Agency Search Launched for Prevacid

CHICAGO — TAP Pharmaceuticals is conducting a search for an agency to handle creative and media duties for its $40 million Prevacid brand, a representative confirmed.

The Lake Forest, Ill., company sent out proposal requests to four holding companies, WPP, IPG, Omnicom and Grey Worldwide, a representative said in a statement. The company expects to make a decision by the end of the third quarter.

In addition to creative, the proposal request asks for media buying and planning capabilities and indicates that direct marketing is a component of the account, sources said.

Bates in New York had the business until earlier this year, a TAP representative said. The campaign currently running for the drug was created by Gillespie in Princeton, N.J.

Abelson-Taylor, Chicago, handles business-to-business advertising for Prevacid, which is not part of the review.

Gillespie’s campaign featured a couple and several individuals doing everyday things such as walking, chopping wood and painting. The message: You never know when heartburn, or acid reflex disease, will strike. It ends with an 800 number, which consumers can call to get a free 7-day supply of Prevacid.

TAP is a joint venture of Abbott Laboratories in Abbott Park, Ill. and Tadeka Chemical Industries in Japan.