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Advil Looks at 5 Shops

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Five New York agencies have been briefed in a review of creative duties on the Advil brand, sources said.

Sources identified the contenders as WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, Dentsu's mcgarrybowen, Havas' Arnold, Omnicom Group's Merkley + Partners and the incumbent, WPP's Grey.

Client executives briefed the shops last week and will hold work sessions this week, according to sources. Final presentations are slated for early August. The agencies either declined to comment or could not be reached. Advil parent company Pfizer had no immediate comment.

Advil, whose major media spending exceeded $80 million last year, according to Nielsen, has been the focus of the review thus far, but other former Wyeth Consumer Healthcare brands may also shift in the end, said sources.

Grey, which declined to comment, also handles sister brands Robitussin, ThermaCare, Preparation H, Alavert and Dimetapp, which last year collectively spent more than $73 million, per Nielsen.

Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., is managing the process.

In October, Pfizer acquired Wyeth for an estimated $68 billion in cash and stock. Wyeth's other over-the-counter brands include Centrum, ChapStick and Ambesol.

Media planning and buying -- at TargetCast and Carat, respectively -- and digital creative duties -- split between IPG's R/GA and Omnicom Group's Tribal DDB -- are not in play, according to the client's initial request for proposals.

Ultimately, Pfizer wants a shop whose work can forge "deep emotional engagement and connections" between its brands and consumers, the RFP states. Additionally, the winning shop will be expected to "address key category issues beyond product parity, such as the growth of private label [brands] and increasing retailer influence."