Mcgarry Wins Advil Creative

Pfizer has confirmed shifting lead creative duties on its Advil brand to mcgarrybowen after a review.

The Dentsu-owned shop will handle Advil, Advil PM and Children’s Advil, as well as ThermaCare, another Pfizer brand, a client representative said.

Major media spending on those brands totaled about $100 million last year and $56 million in the first half of 2010, according to Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online spending.

Mcgarrybowen’s gain comes at the expense of WPP Group’s Grey, although the latter shop retains creative duties on Advil Cold & Sinus, a Grey rep said. Advil Cold & Sinus media spending totaled nearly $12 million last year and more than $6 million in the first half of ’10, per Nielsen.

Grey’s other Pfizer business includes Robitussin, Preparation H, Alavert and Dimetapp, which last year collectively spent more than $40 million in media. Grey defended in the Advil review. Sources previously identified the other finalists as WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, Havas’ Arnold and Omnicom Group’s Merkley + Partners. Each shop pitched the business out of its New York office.

Advil became part of Pfizer’s portfolio of over-the-counter brands in October, when the company acquired Wyeth for an estimated $68 billion in cash and stock.

Not in play were media planning and buying — at independent TargetCast and Aegis Group’s Carat, respectively — and digital creative duties, which are shared by IPG’s R/GA and Omnicom Group’s Tribal DDB, according to the client’s initial request for proposals.

Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., managed the process.

This story updates an earlier item with client confirmation and other details.