Lipitor Cuts Merkley From Review

NEW YORK Omnicom Group’s Merkley + Partners, the creative incumbent on Pfizer’s Lipitor, has been eliminated from the client’s review, leaving three New York shops vying for the estimated $60-80 million account, sources said.

The remaining shops are WPP Group’s JWT, Publicis Groupe’s The Kaplan Thaler Group and mcgarrybowen, an independent, according to sources. The agencies either declined comment or did not return calls.

Merkley, which has handled creative duties on the brand since December 2000, did not return calls. The cut—the second since final presentations in early August—came after a round of concept testing, said sources. A fifth presenter, Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in New York, was eliminated earlier [Adweek Online, Aug. 26].

Sources expect the New York client to further test the creative concepts from the remaining contenders. The review began in June and is expected to conclude next month. A client representative declined comment.