Blistex Shifts Creative Account to AFG&

New York shop to handle several brands

AFG& has landed creative responsibilities for Blistex Inc.'s lip, skin and foot care products, including Blistex, Stridex and Odor-Eaters.

The other brand is Ivarest, a cream and foam that treats poison ivy. The assignment, which came after a review, also includes new product launches.

AFG&, a unit of Interpublic Group that’s based in New York, will create both traditional and digital ads for the brands, which ML Rogers, New York, previously handled. The new agency’s first work is expected early next year.

Media spending on the brands hovers around $10 million annually, with the bulk of dollars going toward Blistex. Last year’s spending total was $9.9 million, up slightly from $9.5 million in 2011, according to Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online outlays, however.

In making the hire, Blistex vp of marketing Brian Satre cited AFG&’s strategic thinking and experience with over-the-counter and personal products. The shop’s other accounts include Prestige Brands, the maker of Ludens and Pedia Care, and celebrity fragrances like Rebelle (Rihanna), Fairy Dust (Paris Hilton) and Queen (Queen Latifah).

The agency "brings unique experience and a successful record of advancing OTC and personal care brands," Satre said in a statement.

AFG&’s biggest account is Purina, for which it handles nearly a dozen brands, including Cat Chow, Fancy Feast, Friskees and Tidy Cats. The agency, founded in 1972, is led by chairman and CEO Frank Ginsberg.

Blistex’s media business was not part of the review and remains at Interpublic's Initiative in New York.