P&G Taps Omnicom for Osteo Drug

CHICAGO Procter & Gamble has enlisted a cadre of Omnicom Group shops to handle global advertising on the company’s osteoporosis medication Actonel, the client confirmed.

DDB in New York will handle consumer marketing efforts for the drug, while Ciel et Terra, a Paris-based unit of DDB, and Corbett, a medical specialist in Chicago, will be responsible for professional communications. The shops take over the business, which had been at WPP Group’s Grey in New York, next month. (Grey had handled consumer chores, with Grey Healthcare working on physician-directed ads.)

P&G spent nearly $80 million on Actonel advertising in the U.S. last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

“We believe Actonel offers important benefits to both consumers and professionals,” said Tom Finn, vice president of North American operations and strategic planning for P&G Pharmaceuticals, in a statement. “These agencies collectively offer innovative messaging and marketing capabilities to help us continue to grow the Actonel business and most importantly to help us convince more women at risk of fracture to talk to their doctor about effective treatment options.”

There was a review for the business, according to a P&G representative, who declined to name other contenders beyond incumbent Grey. A source said at least one other unidentified shop was a finalist.

While Omnicom joined the P&G roster via the Cincinnati company’s acquisition of Gillette, the assignment is not the first for DDB, according to the representative. DDB also handled Enablex, which is a joint venture bladder control product with Novartis, she said.

Actonel is one of 22 P&G brands with more than $1 billion in sales, according to the company rep.