Grey Benefits in Novartis Shuffle

By Hank Kim and Jennifer Comiteau

NEW YORK–Grey Advertising is gaining creative responsibility for six additional brands following a review by Novartis AG, sources said.

The move by the Summit, N.J.-based company comes after a recent decision to place all its media buying duties at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. Grey here, which handles creative duties for Maalox and Ex-Lax, will keep those brands and pick up responsibility for Transderm Scop, Dulcolax, Desenex, and Cruex, which had been at Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor in New York. Grey also gained Lamisil and took Perdium from The Seiden Group here. Seiden kept the Habitrol brand. Bob Berenson, president of Grey USA, could not be reached.

JMC&T partially recouped its losses to Grey by being awarded the Thera-Flu, Triaminic and Tavist brands that were handled by Publicis/Bloom here.

The Sawtooth Group in Woodbridge, N.J., lost responsibility for Gas-Ex to TBWA Chiat/Day, which also gained Doan’s from JMC&T. TBWA, a Novartis roster shop in Europe, also secured the Ascriptin brand. NCI-Masterson Advertising here kept Choltrol, sources said.

Shops will handle media planning for their brands as well as creative duties. Agency executives could not be reached or declined comment. Novartis, the company that formed when Sandoz AG and Ciba-Geigy AG merged, declined comment. Novartis spent $195 million on advertising last year, according Competitive Media Reporting.

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