Schering Hires Merkley

NEW YORK Schering-Plough has added Omnicom Group’s Merkley + Partners to its roster of agencies, awarding the New York shop creative duties on three non-prescription brands: Miralax laxatives, Chlor-Trimeton allergy medicine and Drixoral cold medicine, the client confirmed.

Billings on the assignments, which came without a review, were not disclosed. This year, through August, Schering had spent more than $20 million in major measured media on Miralax, more than $5 million on Chlor-Trimeton and less than $1 million on Drixoral, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The totals for the first eight months represented upticks from all of last year, when Nielsen Monitor-Plus recorded just under $5 million in spending on Chlor-Trimeton and less than $1 million on Drixoral and nothing on Miralax.

Merkley’s experience in the pharmaceutical category includes its work for TAP Pharmaceutical Products’ Prevacid, Novartis’ Femara and its past work for Pfizer’s Lipitor, which last year shifted to Publicis Groupe’s The Kaplan Thaler Group after a review.

“We’re delighted to be working with Schering,” said Merkley CEO Alex Gellert.

Merkley’s biggest client is Mercedes-Benz USA. Its other accounts include Arby’s, Pinnacle Foods (Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth’s, Duncan Hines) Ferrero Rocher (Tic Tac) and Axa Equitable.

The previous agency or agencies for Miralax, Chlor-Trimeton and Drixoral could not be determined. A Schering representative declined to say what shop or shops handled the accounts previously.