At Least 5 Shops Chase Tylenol, Motrin

Johnson & Johnson today confirmed that the company is reviewing creative and media planning chores on both its Tylenol and Motrin brands.

Along with Interpublic Group’s Deutsch, the incumbent on both assignments, sources identified these contenders: Omnicom Group units DDB in New York, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco and TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York; and IPG’s The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.

J&J director of corporate media relations Marc Monseau would not say which shops are pitching.

Agency execs either declined comment or could not be reached. first reported yesterday that Tylenol was in play.

The creative assignment includes traditional and digital chores on those brands, said Monseau. “The decision was made in order to continue to challenge ourselves to ensure we have the best possible creative and marketing for our brands,” he said.

The company spent about $100 million in measured media supporting Tylenol during the first three-quarters of 2009, according to Nielsen. In all of 2008, it spent $162 million advertising Tylenol.

Measured media spending on Motrin through September of this year was $1 million, per Nielsen, and $6 million in all of ’08.

Some sources said the company is looking for a new strategy on Tylenol to replace its current “Feel better” positioning, which Deutsch introduced in early 2008. Others sources said the executives might be seeking a new expression of that strategy, rather than an entirely new approach.

Deutsch won creative duties on Tylenol in November 2003 after a review and succeeded Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, which had handled the business since 1975. The agency won the Motrin business, which had been handled by Taxi in New York, earlier this year.
Media buying duties on Tylenol — and other J&J brands — are handled by IPG’s Universal McCann in New York. –with Andrew McMains