Ciba Vision has awarded its $30 million North American media planning and buying account to J. Walter Thompson following a review sparked by a doubling of its consumer advertising budget.
The Duluth, Ga.-based eye care unit of Novartis chose JWT over five unidentified shops, according to Dave Sanderson, vice president of North American Optics Marketing. JWT's North America media buying services in New York will be supported by account management handled from Atlanta.
Atlanta-based Adair Greene Advertising was the incumbent and will retain creative responsibility, according to Sanderson.
"We couldn't be happier with Adair's creative, but we felt it was wise to look for partners who could assist us in handling the growing complexity of our media function," he said.
Like most contact lens marketers, Ciba Vision has traditionally relied on efforts targeted at eye care practitioners, using a mix of trade journal ads, direct mail, and point-of-purchase materials.
Adair Greene helped implement an initial consumer advertising effort for Ciba Vision in 1996-97. It started with a modest $1 million print effort targeted primarily at an audience of 18-to-34-year-old women in publications such as Seventeen, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan.
Last year, Ciba Vision spent nearly $13 million on consumer advertising, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Much of that was on cable TV, supporting three 30-second commercials which touted its various contact lenses, including ones to enhance eye color and lenses for people who suffer from astigmatism.
Ciba Vision is expected to maintain its cable TV focus while also expanding its efforts to sell to men and Hispanics via Spanish-language television networks Univision and Telemundo.