5 Shops Pitch New Bayer Brand

Four agencies have presented strategic concepts on a new brand from Bayer Corp. that helps diabetics test their glucose levels, the client confirmed. A fifth shop is expected to meet with Bayer next week. Billings are about $20 million.

Last week, four of the undisclosed contenders met with executives at Bayer’s diagnostics division in Tarrytown, N.Y. Among them: Doug Kuzyk, director of marketing for Bayer’s self-testing diabetes system, who confirmed the review.

The client will cut to two finalists; a decision is due next month, Kuzyk said. The assignment involves a line of products under the Ascensia name and is said to include both consumer- and doctor-directed advertising, with 80 percent of the budget aimed at consumers. There will also be a direct marketing component to the effort.

The New York and Chicago offices of Omnicom Group’s BBDO handle the bulk of the OTC brands, including Alka-Seltzer and Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia. Interpublic Group’s Initiative Media North America is Bayer’s media agency. Bayer is keeping its options open on media duties, depending on which shop it chooses, Kuzyk said.

Bayer spent about $175 million in measured media last year, according to CMR.