Pfizer Shifts $60 Mil. to Bates

Pfizer has shifted creative duties on four brands—Ro-laids, Zantac, Bonine and Desitin—to Bates Worldwide, sources said.

Total spending on the brands last year was $60 million, and about $25 million in the first half of this year, per Competitive Media Re-porting. The shift to Bates in New York occurred without a re-view, sources said.

The antacid Rolaids and heartburn drug Zantac were previously at J. Walter Thompson in New York. Desitin, which treats diaper rash, and Bonine, a motion-sickness drug, were handled by Bozell until 1999, when it resigned the accounts after sister shop Avrett Free Ginsberg won ad duties for Dramamine, a Bonine rival, sources said. The shops either de-clined comment or could not be reached.

The shift follows Pfizer’s $116 billion takeover of W-L last summer, which made Pfizer the world’s largest pharmaceutical company with estimated annual revenue of $31 billion. Previously, W-L marketed the four brands moved to Bates.

The shift is meant to fortify Pfizer’s relationship with roster shop Bates, said a source. “A lot of it is personal relationships,” he said.

Meghan Marschall, assistant director of marketing for Pfizer’s consumer division, said the reassignment “represents a better balance between our two primary global agencies, JWT and Bates.”

Bates did not fair as well in Pfizer’s $700 million consolidated media review. Although an incumbent, it is not a finalist.