GlaxoSmithKline and Schering-Plough have brought on BBDO Worldwide to handle some U.S. consumer advertising for Levitra on a project basis.
Saatchi & Saatchi Consumer Healthcare remains the agency of record on the account, said Matt Scampoli, manager of global product communications and advocacy relations for Schering-Plough. "We've added an agency," said Scampoli. "We are continuing to work with Saatchi & Saatchi." Neither Scampoli nor his opposite
number at GSK would comment on the size or nature of the account, but the move fueled trade press speculation that Saatchi & Saatchi had lost business to Omnicom's BBDO just six months after the Publicis agency wrested the business away from WPP's Quantum unit of CommonHealth company. Both agencies referred comment to the companies.
Levitra sales in the U.S. have languished behind rival Cialis, by Lilly Icos, since the launch of the drugs in late 2003, despite similar promotion levels. Cialis was the third biggest spending DTC advertiser among pharmaceutical products for 2004, shelling out $152 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence, but was followed by Levitra, at $142 million. For the period from January to April 2005, Levitra's share of the U.S. ED market was 10.4 percent, as compared to Cialis' 21.1 percent and Viagra's 65 percent, according to IMS Health. GSK and Schering-Plough moved the advertising business to Saatchi & Saatchi at the beginning of the year, shortly after Schering-Plough took over from Bayer as GSK's marketing partner for the drug and the brand's advertising shifted from macho spots featuring Mike Ditka to more gender-neutral ads featuring actress Marie Silvia.