Vicus Reviews $20 Mil. Account

Alternative-medicine e-tailer Vicus.com is searching for an agency to handle $20 million in advertising duties, said sources.
Shops contacted include Grey Advertising, Bartle Bogle Hegarty and DiMassimo Brand Advertising. A representative for Vicus confirmed the review and said a decision is expected in two weeks.
Vicus will launch in January and will sell vitamins, nutritional supplements, herbs and massage products in order to bring alternative medicine to a mainstream audience–“not the fanatical end,” said a source.
Jeff Sacks, director of marketing at the Gay Financial Network, is also heading Vicus. Sacks has worked previously with Net subscription service Infonautics Corp. as director of the end-user unit.
Before Infonautics, he was also Physicians’ Online marketing chief.
Vicus is entering a growing market of healthcare dot.coms, including DrKoop.com ($15 million ad budget); Drugstore.com ($30 million); PlanetRX.com ($30 million); and SxSportsMed.com ($20 million). MotherNature.com ($8 million), which sells natural health remedies, could be seen as a direct competitor with Vicus, said a source.
Vicus is owned by a group of undisclosed venture capitalists.
–Richard Linnett