SUMMIT, N.J., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. (NCH) announced today the realignment of its advertising agency accounts from eight to five. It also announced that it has selected Ogilvy & Mather to handle its media buying activities. The announcement concludes a five-month account review that was triggered by NCH's recent merger. NCH previously worked with eight advertising firms. These agencies were streamlined to four and a new agency was added. As a result, the five new agencies of record are: Grey Advertising & Healthcare; Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor; NCI Masterson; The Seiden Group and TBWA/Chiat Day. Robert Becker, NCI Advertising, Publicis/Bloom and The Sawtooth Group will no longer handle NCH accounts. (See chart for details). NCH selected Ogilvy & Mather for the media buying account over The Woodbridge Group, a subsidiary of Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor. The account is expected to exceed $125 million. Both Ogilvy & Mather and The Woodbridge Group had previously worked with NCH's predecessor businesses. The media buying assignment will become effective June 30th. Fred Huser, president of Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., stated, "Our two previous companies maintained very strong and effective agency relationships. However, Novartis Consumer Health is a new company with new needs and expectations. We needed to realign our agency support to allow each agency to grow with us and focus on our unique needs. With this action we have accomplished two overarching goals. One, we achieved significant cost savings from commission billings, and two, we selected agencies that have demonstrated a core capability in creating superior advertising and media plans." Except for the transition of the Gas-X(R) account, all advertising assignments are effective immediately. The Gas-X(R) account is expected to be switched by the close of the fourth quarter. Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is a leading consumer pharmaceutical business that produces and markets superior brands for self-diagnosis, treatment and prevention of medical conditions to enhance overall health. It holds strong positions in several important therapeutic categories: cardiovascular; cough, cold, allergy and sinus; dermatology; analgesics; and gastrointestinal. It markets such well known brands as Ascriptin(R), Desenex(R), Doan's(R), Ex-Lax(R), Gas-X(R), Habitrol(R) (nicotine transdermal system), Maalox(R), Tavist(R), Theraflu(R) and Triaminic(R). On December 20, 1996, Ciba-Geigy Ltd. and Sandoz Ltd. merged to form Novartis AG, a global leader in the life sciences with core businesses in Healthcare, Agribusiness and Nutrition. Ciba Self-Medication and Sandoz Consumer Pharmaceuticals, the respective consumer pharmaceutical businesses, joined together to form Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. NOVARTIS CONSUMER HEALTH ADVERTISING AGENCY ASSIGNMENTS AGENCY PREVIOUS ASSIGNMENT NEW ASSIGNMENT TIMING Robert Becker, Inc. Ascriptin, Habitrol, None Immediate (Professional) * Maalox, Perdiem, Slow Fe Transderm Scop Grey Advertising * Ex-Lax, Maalox Cruex, Desenex, Immediate Dulcolax, Ex-Lax, Lamisil, Maalox, Perdiem, Transderm Scop Grey Healthcare None All Novartis Immediate (Professional) * Consumer Health Brands (Professional) Jordan, McGrath, Cruex, Desenex, Doan's Tavist, Immediate Case & Taylor * Dulcolax, Transderm Theraflu, Triaminic Scop NCI Masterson * Choltrol Choltrol Immediate NCI Advertising Choltrol, Triaminic None Immediate (Professional) * Publicis/Bloom * Tavist, Theraflu, None Immediate Triaminic Sawtooth Group * Gas-X None 4th Quarter, 1997 Seiden Group * Ascriptin, Habitrol, Habitrol, Immediate Perdiem New Business Development TBWA Chiat Day None Ascriptin, Ascriptin Doan's, Gas-X & Doan's Immediate; Gas-X, 4th Quarter, 1997 * Denotes previous agency
SOURCE Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.