Bayer Consolidates at Initiative

NEW YORK Interpublic Group’s Initiative has been awarded the consolidated media planning and buying account for Bayer’s consumer care division, the client has confirmed.

Bayer spent nearly $400 million on ads in 2006 after spending $375 million in 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Initiative previously handled media buying for Bayer and now adds planning duties on the account. Other contenders included planning incumbent Omnicom Group’s OMD and WPP Group’s Mediaedge:cia. All pitched from their offices in New York.

“This is both a testimony to the great work Initiative has done for Bayer over the years and an acknowledgement of our capability to deliver end-to-end solutions,” said Richard Beaven, CEO of Initiative’s North American operations.

The win is the latest in a series of combined planning and buying assignments for the media company over the past year. Previous new business wins include CBS/Showtime, Lionsgate Films and Gateway.

The Morristown, N.J.-based marketer of brands such as Aleve, Alka-Seltzer, One-A-Day vitamins and its namesake Bayer Aspirin hired a pair of consultancies—Jane Twyon and Joanne Davis Consulting, both based in New York—to oversee the review process.