Schering-Plough Unit Launches $80 Mil. Review

Pharmaceutical giant Schering-Plough Corp.’s consumer-products business unit, Schering-Plough HealthCare Products, has sent out RFPs to several undisclosed media agencies for what the client calls an $80 million broadcast buying business, sources said.

Questionnaires are due back this week. In play, the RFP indicates, are well-known consumer brands such as Dr. Scholl’s and Coppertone, as well as nonprescription drugs that include Afrin decongestants, Lotrimin athlete’s foot treatment, and Chlor-Trimeton allergy products. The RFP, described by one source as requesting “general information” from agencies, will be followed by invitations to selected shops to meet the review selection committee.

True North Communications’ TN Media in New York is the incumbent on the Berkeley Heights, N.J.-based client’s national broadcast business.

HealthCare Products’ lead creative shop is Havas agency Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmet terer/Euro RSCG, which also handles media planning and print buying. Havas media shop Media Planning is in the process of incorporating the media operations of all Havas agencies in the U.S.

Zenith Media in New York, co-owned by Cordiant Communications and Publicis, handles Schering-Plough’s $200 million direct-to-con – sumer media planning and buying business.

Consultancy Achen baum Bogda Associates, based in New York, is working with the client on the review, sources said. Neither the advertiser nor the consultancy was available for comment. The agencies also declined comment.

“Schering-Plough is considering how they should place their network TV in the future, whether to continue with TN or [go somewhere else],” said a source.