Ogilvy in line for SmithKline Drug

SmithKline Beecham’s emphasis on prescription to over-the-counter product switches could pay dividends for one of its stable of New York agencies in 1993.
Sources said last week that the big drug and consumer products client is on the verge of tapping Ogilvy & Mather/N.Y. for its Tagamet antiulcer drug.
The client reportedly wants an advertising agency ready and waiting if the Food and Drug Administration gives its approval this year for a consumer version of the best-selling drug, which goes off patent in 1994.
SKB filed an application for an OTC version of Tagamet last December and has been waiting for a thumbs up from the FDA.
While a Tagamet rollout is still a long way off, sources said the product could eventually grow into a $10-15-million plus account. A consumer version of Tagamet would likely position it as an antacid, putting it into the same category as Mylanta, Pepto-Bismol, Maalox and SKB’s Tums brand.
Meanwhile, another SKB shop will pick up a piece of new business as the client expands its product lines in the cough/cold segment.
Grey Advertising/N.Y. has been selected to handle the new Contac Day & Night Allergy/Sinus brand, which will be supported with more than $3 million in advertising in 1993.
The new brand, which is billed as the first sinus/allergy medication to combine a non-sedating daytime formula with a nighttime formula, started shipping this month, with advertising slated to break in March.
Overall, sources said Grey’s entire Day & Night line will be supported with more than $7 million in ad support in 1993.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)