Whitehall-Robins Fires Y&R

NEW YORK–In a series of moves involving some of their major brands, Whitehall-Robins has eliminated Young & Rubicam in New York from its U.S. agency roster.

W-R has shifted creative and media duties for its Advil brand, which also includes children’s and cold and sinus medications, to roster shop Grey Worldwide without a review, sources said. The estimated $80 million in business had been handled by Y & R since 1985.

Grey’s MediaCom will handle media planning. Buying is handled by the Madison, N.J.-based client. Grey, New York, will now handle upwards of $150 million in business from Whitehall-Robins. They already work on such brands as Preparation H, Anbesol, Chapstick, and Robitussin.

Separately, sources said W-R has launched a creative and media review for its Dimetapp cough medicine brand, also currently at Y&R and its media arm, The Media Edge, both New York. Sources said the incumbents were not invited to defend and that the client may be contacting non-roster agencies. The company put nearly $12 million behind the brand in 2000. Y&R has handled Dimetapp since 1995.

Client representative Francis Sullivan confirmed the Dimetapp review and the Advil shift, saying that Y&R’s elimination from the roster was “a straightforward business decision.” He declined further comment.Officials at Grey, MediaCom, Young & Rubicam, and The Media Edge either could not be reached or declined comment.

Y&R will continue to handle Whitehall-Robins brands in Canada and Latin America.