Bayer to Consolidate Agency Work Again

By Patrick Coffee 

Bayer consumer

Just one month after finalizing its acquisition of rival Merck’s over-the-counter pharmaceuticals business, Bayer is making some changes in its agency lineup.

Specifically, the company is consolidating its business with its two incumbent agencies; Havas and other parties will lose the work.


For context, Bayer’s last major consolidation occurred in 2010, with the company awarding creative duties to WPP (Ogilvy/JWT) and Omnicom (BBDO/CDM Group) and media to GroupM.

The first big move to follow the acquisition was the shift in media agencies at Merck: the work went from Initiative to MediaCom. Today’s announcement, however, marks the end of an extended partnership between Bayer and Havas. Moving forward, it seems that all creative will belong to WPP and Omnicom.

Internal memo after the jump.

A 30+ year relationship with a combined Schering-Plough, Merck and most recently Bayer is most likely coming to a close. Bayer Consumer Care has announced their intent to consolidate their business with their incumbent agencies. They are awaiting formal proposals from their two main agencies. If their expectations are met, they will make the consolidation.
An official announcement from Bayer is expected by the end of the year. Assuming expectations are met, we anticipate the relationship to end March 31, 2015 or soon thereafter.

Erica Mann, Global President of Bayer Consumer Care, said that she holds Havas in the highest regard. She was very complimentary of our accomplishments over many years and the strong and successful partnerships we have built. The fact that Bayer paid $14 Billion for the brands we worked on is a testament to the great work we have done. Unfortunately, Bayer has its own proven brand building process which their existing agencies were very familiar with, and wants to leverage existing Bayer/agency relationships outside the US where Bayer expects the growth to come from.

It’s been and amazing run and truly unheard of today. We are all very proud of the work we’ve done for market leaders like Claritin, Dr. Scholl’s, Coppertone, Lotrimin and Afrin and the relationships we’ve built along the way. Many thanks to all who have worked on this business.

We look forward to putting our passion and expertise in this space to work for a new client very soon.