Burnett Wins $65 Mil. Allegra Job

Shift of Consumer Task In Works for 2 Months
CHICAGO–Hoechst, Marion Roussel has moved the $65 million direct-to-consumer account for its Allegra allergy medication to Leo Burnett.
The account had been at Medicus Communications, New York. Medicus officials were notified in early October that Allegra’s DTC business would be going elsewhere, although that agency retained trade advertising for the drug, worth an equal amount of revenue, sources said.
Burnett’s assignment includes creative and media responsibilities, the client confirmed last week.
Medicus, a division of The MacManus Group in New York, had worked with Hoechst since 1985, when it helped develop consumer ads for Seldane, another allergy drug.
Medicus executives referred calls to the client. Officials at Leo Burnett declined comment.
Although the client did not call it a formal review, a move had been pending for at least two months, sources said. Leo Burnett’s name, however, only surfaced at the end of a process that included at least one other undisclosed Midwestern shop.
Julie Gladman, a Hoechst representative, said the move to Burnett was “in the best interest of the brand.” The shift may have been spurred by the arrival of Doug Randall as Allegra’s brand manager earlier this year, sources said.
Hoechst spent $65 million on Allegra advertising in 1997 and $35 million through June, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Allegra’s most recent TV effort used computer graphics to create a surreal image of allergy relief, with a skier gliding through grassy fields. Its tagline was, “Ahh Allegra.”