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GSK Brands Shift to IPG

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NEW YORK Three Interpublic Group shops have landed ad duties on GlaxoSmithKline brands in five categories that previously were split between WPP Group agencies Grey Healthcare and Thomas Ferguson Associates, sources said.

The assignments cover advertising efforts directed to doctors and other health professionals.

A representative at GSK in Research Triangle Park, N.C., confirmed that brands were shifting but declined to name them.

Sources, however, identified them as diabetes drugs Avandia and Avandamet; asthma drugs Advair and Seretide; flu medications Fluarix and Relenza; migraine drugs Imitrex and Trexima; and Advodart, which treats hyperplasia. IPG will handle all of GSK's health professional advertising as a result of the shifts, the rep said.

The shift to IPG shops FCB Healthcare and Regan Campbell Ward McCann, both in New York, and Torre Lazur McCann in Parsippany, N.J., came after agency teams from IPG and WPP made recent presentations to client executives, said sources. The handoff has begun and should be completed by year's end.

Executives at the agencies either could not be reached or declined comment.

Spending levels were not immediately available.

Grey Healthcare in New York previously handled the diabetes, flu and migraine brands; the asthma drugs and Advodart were with Thomas Ferguson in Parsippany.

The diabetes, flu and hyperplasia brands are expected to land at Torre Lazur, the migraine brands will likely head to FCB Healthcare and the asthmas drugs, to Regan Campbell Ward, according to sources.