Pfizer’s Aricept Puts TBWA\C\D on Notice

NEW YORK Pfizer has placed Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day on 90-day notice for the drugmaker’s Aricept brand, which the New York shop has handled since 1996, sources said. Billings on the account, which encompasses direct-to-consumer creative duties, are estimated at $20 million.

Sources expect Pfizer to launch a review of the business. TBWA\C\D declined comment and the New York client could not immediately be reached.

All told, Pfizer last year spent about $55 million in major media on the brand, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Aricept, a joint venture of Pfizer and Eisai Corp. of Teaneck, N.J., treats the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

TBWA\C\D handles the DTC business through its TBWA WorldHealth unit. Interactive duties shifted from TBWA’s Tequila to WPP Group’s Grey Interactive about a year ago, said sources.

Doctor-directed advertising is handled by Omnicom’s Lyons Lavey Nickel Swift in New York, and Aegis Group’s Carat in New York handles media duties on all Pfizer brands.