Merkley Wins Prevacid

NEW YORK — Merkley Newman Harty & Partners has been selected to handle ad duties on Prevacid, a heartburn drug from TAP Pharmaceutical Products, the client confirmed. Billings are estimated at $100 million.

The New York shop, a unit of Omnicom Group, bested the Interpublic Group team of McCann-Erickson in New York and Gillespie in Princeton, N.J., said sources. (Gillespie previously handled the brand on a project basis.)

Merkley could not be reached and a representative of the Lake Forest, Ill. client said a decision had not been made and declined further comment.

The Lake Forest, Ill.-based TAP lauched the review in July, by reaching out to major ad holding companies (IPG, Omnicom, WPP) and asking them to put forth shops of their choosing. Four shops pitched the business but two — IPG’s Deutsch and WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather — were eliminated after final presentations.