Bayer HealthCare has shifted U.S. media planning and buying for its newly-acquired Merck consumer product line to MediaCom from Initiative, a Bayer executive confirmed.
Annual media spending is estimated at $150 million. The shift came without a pitch.
In May, Bayer agreed to acquire Merck’s consumer business for $14.2 billion, which made the German pharmaceutical giant one of the largest manufacturers of over-the-counter products. Among the brands that Bayer added in the deal were Claritin, Coppertone, Bain de Soleil and Dr. Scholl’s.
Initiative retains media responsibilities on Merck's Human Health prescription business.
The Merck shift follows a 2011 pitch for Bayer's U.S. media business, which MediaCom won, also at the expense of Initiative. As a result of that pitch, MediaCom become Bayer's lead media agency around the world.
Executives at MediaCom and Initiative declined to comment and referred calls to Merck.
Chris Meringolo, vp, integrated marketing services at Bayer said: "Bayer HealthCare appreciates the contribution and partnership our agencies have made to our business and our brands. We look forward to building an expanded partnership with MediaCom."