Lunesta in Play; McCann Defends

NEW YORK Sepracor is reviewing U.S. creative duties on its Lunesta sleep aid and incumbent McCann HumanCare is believed to be defending, sources said.

Major media spending on the brand exceeded $330 million last year and totaled nearly $250 million in the first nine months of 2007, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Interpublic Group’s McCann HumanCare is said to be defending against three or four other undisclosed shops. Final presentations are slated for the middle of January. McCann referred calls to the client and the Marlborough, Mass.-based Sepracor did not return calls.

Current ads show a butterfly made of light flying about restfully sleeping people.

In May, Sepracor elevated Adrian Adams, the president and chief operating officer, to the position of president and chief executive officer. Adams replaced Timothy J. Barberich, who was made executive chairman of the board of directors. In October, the company brought in several high level executives including Mark Iwicki, who was formerly vp, cardiovascular business franchise head for Novartis, as evp and chief commercial officer, a newly created position.

Media duties, at IPG’s Initiative here, are not believed to be in play.

Sepracor is said to be using Clear Perspectives, a consultant based in Cincinnati, to guide its creative search. Lunesta’s competitors include Sanofi-Aventis’ Ambien.