Glaxo-Wellcome has invited four roster shops and an undisclosed number of other agencies to pitch its estimated $150 million media planning and buying account, the client confirmed.
The roster agencies include The Media Edge, New York, which is responsible for Glaxo-Wellcome's media buying; Wilson Media Group, New York, which performs planning for the client; and creative partners Grey Advertising of New York and Rockett, Burkhead, Lewis & Wins-low in Raleigh, N.C. Grey, through MediaCom in New York, declined to participate in the review.
The Media Edge is more enthusiastic: "We have an excellent relationship with Glaxo," said Beth Gordon, president of The Media Edge. "We're proud of the work we've done and looking forward to competing for the planning."
The other agencies either declined comment or could not be reached. Glaxo-Wellcome representative Julie Dean declined to identify the non-incumbent shops, which are believed to be located throughout the country. She added that she was not certain if all the outside agencies had been contacted.
Dean said that the client was looking at media planning in particular, as part of an ongoing effort to consolidate its accounts to realize greater efficiencies. Media duties may remain split or be consolidated at a single shop, she said. A decision is expected in early 1999.
The review is being conducted by Rich O'Gorman's Blueprint Communications in Atlanta. O'Gorman declined to discuss the process or his involvement. He was instrumental in the review for Glaxo-Wellcome's media buying in early 1997 when he worked for The Bedford Group, also in Atlanta. In that contest, The Media Edge defeated Grey, J. Walter Thompson, TeleVest and Western International Media.
Glaxo-Wellcome markets a host of prescription drugs, including Zyban, Imitrex and Flonase.