Adweek: Four or more agencies compete for Lipitor

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At least four agencies are competing for creative duties on Pfizer's blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor, according to a report at Adweek.com.
The four shops include Publicis Groupe's The Kaplan Thaler Group, WPP Group's JWT, Omnicom Group's Merkley + Partners, which is the incumbent, and independent mcgarrybowen, the report said. An undisclosed shop may also be involved, the report added.
The shops were reportedly briefed last week and were scheduled to meet with Pfizer execs this week to ask questions about the assignment, the article said. Final presentations are reportedly scheduled for late August.
Lipitor is the best-selling prescription drug in the world, with sales topping $11 billion last year. U.S. sales accounted for $7.7 billion.
Major media spending on Lipitor has jumped over the past four years, from approximately $50 million in 2001 to about $120 million in 2004, according to figures from Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Spending in the first four months of 2005 totaled $35 million. Estimated billings on Merkley's portion of the business are $60-80 million.
Merkley has handled consumer creative duties for Lipitor since 2000.

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