Contenders Emerge For Glaxo

Glaxo Wellcome has invited four roster shops and an undisclosed number of other agencies to pitch its estimated $150 million media planning and buying account, the client confirmed.
The roster shops include The Media Edge, New York, which now handles media buying; Wilson Media Group, New York, which handles planning; and creative partners Grey Advertising, New York, and Rockett, Burkhead, Lewis & Winslow, Raleigh, N.C. Grey, through MediaCom, will participate.
The Media Edge was optimistic: “We have an excellent relationship with Glaxo,” said Beth Gordon, the shop’s president. “We’re proud of the work we’ve done and looking forward to competing for the planning.”
The other agencies either declined comment or could not be reached.
Glaxo representative Julie Dean declined to identify the nonincumbents, but they are all believed to be spread across the country. She added that she was unsure all the outsiders had been contacted.
The client is looking at media planning in particular as part of an ongoing effort to consolidate its accounts and realize efficiencies. Media duties may remain split or be awarded with the planning, Dean said. A decision is expected in early 1999.
Rich O’Gorman of Blueprint Communications in Atlanta is conducting the review. O’Gorman declined to discuss the contest or his involvement. He was instrumental in the pitch for Glaxo’s media buying in early 1997 when he worked for The Bedford Group, also in Atlanta. In the end, Media Edge bested J. Walter Thompson, Grey, TeleVest, and Western International Media.
Glaxo markets a host of prescription drugs, including Zyban, Imitrex and Flonase. –with Hank Kim