Schering Unit Starts Media Review

LOS ANGELES — Pharmaceutical giant Schering-Plough Corp.’s consumer-products unit, Schering-Plough HealthCare Products, has sent requests for proposals to several undisclosed national media agencies for what it is calling an $80 million broadcast buying business, according to sources.

In play, the RFP indicates, are well-known consumer brands such as Dr. Scholl?s foot products and Coppertone suntan lotions, as well as nonprescription drugs such as Afrin decongestants, Lotrimin athlete?s foot treatment and Chlor-Trimeton allergy products. Achenbaum Bogda Associates, New York, is consulting on the review, sources said.

Interpublic Group’s unit TN Media in New York now buys broadcast media for Schering-Plough HealthCare, Berkeley Heights, N.J., whose lead creative shop is Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, a Havas unit that also handles media planning and print buying. Havas’ Media Planning is in the process of taking over media operations from all Havas’ U.S. agencies.

Zenith Media, New York, co-owned by Cordiant Communications and Publicis, handles Schering-Plough?s $200 million direct-to-consumer media planning and buying business.

Neither the advertiser nor the consultant were available, and the agencies declined comment Friday.