Pfizer’s Chantix to McCann

NEW YORK Pfizer has enlisted McCann HumanCare to help launch Chantix, a new prescription smoking-cessation drug, the agency said today.

Chantix will debut later this year. Estimated media spending is $75 million, according to sources.

McCann HumanCare is the health and wellness arm of Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson in New York.

The account was awarded after a review in which at least two other undisclosed agencies participated.

In a statement, Andrew Shirmer, managing director of McCann HumanCare, said, “We are delighted with the huge opportunity to help people quit smoking and help market Chantix. We also appreciate this further expansion of our relationship with Pfizer.”

The shop handles Pfizer’s Aricept and Viagra brands as well.

Chantix received FDA approval in 2006.

According to information at www.Pfizer.com, Chantix is designed to decrease a smoker’s craving for nicotine and make smoking less satisfying to those on the medication if they decide to have a cigarette.

GlaxoSmithKline manufactures and markets smoking-cessation drug Zyban, also available by prescription.