Merck Trims Field in Global Creative Review

Cut to 2 follows pitches earlier this week

The odds of the finalists in Merck's global creative review just improved.

The company has eliminated Saatchi & Saatchi and Deutsch, following agency presentations at Merck earlier this week. That leaves two contenders for a consumer products group assignment with annual media spending of about $50 million: Grey and Publicis.

The assignment involves creating overseas advertising for Dr. Scholl's and global ads for Miralax and an incontinence drug for women that’s shifting from prescription to over-the-counter sales. Accordingly, the winner will become the second global agency to work alongside lead global shop Euro RSCG on OTC brands. 

The search began in August and a decision is expected next month. Avidan Strategies in New York is managing the process.

The consultancy referred calls to a Merck representative, who did not address the cut but acknowledged that the review was continuing. "We expect to make a decision by the end of November," the rep added.