Saatchi Picks Up $150 Mil. in Novartis Work

NEW YORK Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi has landed on Novartis’ global roster, picking up creative duties on four non-prescription brands after a shootout involving roster and non-roster shops, sources said. The brands, which are marketed by Novartis’ consumer health division, are TheraFlu, Triaminic, Voltaren and Otrivin, according to an agency memo obtained by Adweek.

The assignments, which carry estimated billings of $150 million, were the result of a series of meetings between Saatchi and client executives that began in June, said sources. The win puts Saatchi back into the over-the-counter drug business, roughly a year after it lost its $200 million Johnson & Johnson account.

Saatchi and the client could not immediately be reached. In the agency memo, however, New York vice chairman Mike Burns thanked 116 staffers in 12 countries who helped pursue the business, which will be run out of Saatchi’s New York and Geneva offices.

It was not immediately clear what other shops participated in the review. Novartis’ global roster also includes Omnicom Group’s DDB, Havas’ Euro RSCG and Grey Global Group’s Grey.

“The review was competitively demanding, challenging every dimension of our worldwide agency to perform at its peak,” Burns wrote.

Otrivin and Voltaren, which are marketed principally in Europe, previously were handled by Euro RSCG, while TheraFlu and Triaminic were handled by Corbett Healthcare Group, a division of DDB.

The competition was separate from another that focused on prescription drugs in which some 40 clients executives heard presentations from a handful of agencies at a hotel in New York [Adweek, Oct. 11].

That drill resulted in Omnicom Group’s Merkley + Partners being eliminated from the roster and DDB and Deutsch landing additional brands [Adweek Online, Oct. 28].