MVBMS Wins $35 Mil. Valtrex

NEW YORK – Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG has won Glaxo Wellcome’s $35 million account for its Valtrex anti-herpes drug. The agency will launch its first advertising for the brand this fall.
The agency won the account after a three-month review that included sister shop Robert A. Becker Euro RSCG and incumbent KPR Advertising in New York. Young & Rubicam here was contacted but declined to participate. MVBMS will handle all direct-to-consumer advertising for Valtrex, the leading branded prescription medication for genital herpes.
For MVBMS, the account marks its biggest win to date in pharmaceuticals. “It’s an area we have always identified as a growth category,” said shop chairman Ron Berger. MVBMS has previously worked on a project basis for drug marketers Schering-Plough and Merck.
Valtrex’s advertising duties have been handled by healthcare marketing specialist KPR since it was launched three years ago. “One of the reasons they came to us was they were looking for more interesting and compelling communications,” Berger said. While the campaign is still being developed, Berger said it uses humor “in a way that would be provocative.”
The brand’s most recent TV ads featured the tagline, “It’s about suppression.” It will not be used in the new ads. A client representative confirmed the hiring of MVBMS, but declined to elaborate.