Bayer Reviews U.S. Media

NEW YORK Bayer Consumer Care is putting its domestic media planning and buying account into review, according to sources.

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

The client spent more than $300 million on ads through the first nine months of 2006 after spending $375 million in 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The incumbents on the account are Interpublic Group’s Initiative, which handles buying, and Omincom Group’s OMD, which handles planning chores. They are expected to receive invitations to defend.

Sources said non-roster contenders would also be invited to participate in the review. One potential candidate: Aegis Group’s Carat, which will give up media chores on the Pfizer Consumer Healthcare account once that unit is acquired by Johnson & Johnson [Adweek Online, Nov. 27]. According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Pfizer spent $315 million on U.S. consumer healthcare ads through the first nine months of 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Sources have said J&J expects to review its entire global media business, worth upwards of $2.5 billion, in the first half of 2007. The company’s acquisition of Pfizer is expected to close by the end of this year.

As for the Bayer media competition, the agencies and consultants either declined comment or did not return calls. Bayer, a subsidiary of the German pharmaceutical firm Bayer AG, did not return calls.