Johnson & Johnson is reaching out beyond its lead creative agency on Tylenol, Interpublic Group's Deutsch in New York, for new ideas on the brand, according to sources.
Executives from J&J's McNeil Consumer Healthcare division are meeting with agencies this week, and are expected to make a decision by early February, per sources.
Deutsch is believed to be defending the business against at least four agencies, said sources.
The incumbent referred calls to the client. When reached, a J&J executive had no immediate comment.
The company spent about $100 million in measured media supporting Tylenol during the first three-quarters of 2009, according to Nielsen. In all of 2008, it spent $162 million advertising Tylenol.
Some sources said the company is looking for a new strategy to replace its current "Feel better" positioning, which Deutsch introduced in early 2008. Others sources said the executives might be seeking a new expression of that strategy, rather than an entirely new approach.
Deutsch won creative duties on Tylenol in November 2003 after a review and succeeded Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, which had handled the business since 1975. Deutsch also handles media planning on the brand.
J&J's global roster of creative agencies includes Omnicom Group units BBDO and DDB, WPP Group's JWT and IPG's Lowe.
Media buying duties on Tylenol -- and other J&J brands -- are handled by IPG's Universal McCann in New York. --with Andrew McMains