AHP Seeks Ad Remedy

Several American Home Products’ roster shops are competing for the opportunity to introduce a new herbal Centrum product to consumers in 1998. Sources said the account is worth $15 million.
Centrum vitamin shop Carrafiello Diehl & Associates in Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y., has been invited to pitch the account, sources said. So have New York shops Young & Rubicam, Lowe & Partners/SMS and Grey Advertising, said sources. The agencies, which are being asked to help name the brand, made creative presentations to the client earlier this month. A decision is expected before Christmas.
Agency executives either declined comment or referred calls to the Madison, N.J.-based client. A company representative would not comment on the herbal product or the agency review.
Sources, however, said AHP is planning a print and broadcast campaign targeted at the growing group of mainstream consumers who are turning to alternative remedies, such as echinacea, to ease minor ailments. Other pharmaceutical companies, such as Warner-Lambert, already have herbal products on the market. W-L in September introduced two herbal dietary supplements: Celestial Seasonings Herbal Comfort, an echinacea-based throat lozenge, and Halls Zinc Defense, a zinc-based lozenge.
Industry experts claim that the $900 million herbal remedy category is growing by more than 20 percent a year. Sales of herbal products are expected to be more than $1 billion by the year 2001.
AHP spent $30 million advertising Centrum vitamins last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.