Merck’s Global Creative Review Covers 3 Drugs

Total media spending estimated at $50 million

The Merck & Co. consumer brands in play in the company’s global creative review are Dr. Scholl’s, Miralax and an incontinence drug for women that’s shifting from prescription to over-the-counter sales.

The company’s initial request for proposals doesn’t name the incontinence drug. Collective media spending on the business in review is estimated at $50 million.

Merck is seeking a second global agency to work along side Euro RSCG on its non-prescription consumer brands. The Miralax and female incontinence drug assignments are global and the Dr. Scholl's business is for outside the U.S.—at least to start. Avidan Strategies in New York is managing the search.

Besides Euro RSCG, Merkley + Partners also will be impacted by the review. Merkley handles Miralax in the U.S., where the brand spent more than $20 million in media last year, according to Nielsen. That figure does not include online spending.

Less than a dozen global agencies received Merck’s RFP, which is due back this week. Based on replies, Merck executives will narrow the field to about a half-dozen shops that they will visit.

In the end, just a handful of contenders will pitch the business. Merck, which is based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., hopes to complete the process by November.