Pfizer takes a good, long look at its agency roster

Pfizer is continuing to take a good, long look at its agency roster, reviewing accounts at both Avrett, Free & Ginsberg and Ally & Gargano, in addition to putting a new antihistamine product up for grabs.
Sources said Pfizer heard presentations last week for Unisom from several agencies including incumbent Avrett, which helped launch the sleep aid in 1979.
Also vulnerable, sources said, is the Plax dental rinse business at Ally & Gargano. One source said the client would move Plax to healthcare agency Cline, Davis & Mann, which already handles Plax professional advertising.
According to Competitive Media Reporting, Plax got about $10 million in ad support in 1992. However, the brand will be reformulated and relaunched in 1994 with a bigger ad budget, said sources.
None of the agencies would comment on their Pfizer business. Bob Unger, Pfizer’s senior vp-consumer healthcare division would only say, “We are not looking for new agencies.”
However, along with looking at its existing shops, Pfizer is believed to be talking to CME-KHBB, at least about a new OTC antihistamine called Reactine, expected to be introduced next year.
It could not be determined at presstime whether Pfizer shops Bozell or Partners & Shevack, both New York, are involved in any of the pitches. Bozell is Pfizer’s national media buying agency and also handled the creative on Pfizer’s first corporate image campaign in recent memory, according to a spokesman. That print campaign broke in June and uses the line, “Pfizer. We’re part of the cure.” Partners & Shevack handles Visine, which it won from Young & Rubicam.
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