Novartis shifted the DTC account for Diovan from Deutsch to Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopoulos.
Both Hill Holliday and Deutsch are Interpublic companies. There was no pitch for the business, which will be handled out of Boston-based Hill Holliday's New York office. It's a coup for Hill Holliday, which has been seeking an in on the pharmaceutical sector. Hill Holliday healthcare accounts include CVS and Cleveland Clinic.
Deutsch continues to handle the rest of Novartis' cardiology franchise, including Lotrel and BP Success Zone. The agency will also handle consumer advertising for two forthcoming Novartis cardiovascular products, due to launch in 2007 and 2008.
The move, first reported by Advertising Age, comes ahead of Novartis' first branded consumer work for Diovan in several years. It was previously incorporated into part of BP Success Zone. Diovan boasted US sales of $1.3 billion for the nine months to September—up 19% year on year—with total worldwide sales of $3 billion for the period. The company presented data last month to the American Heart Association showing that the drug, given at high doses, could help diabetics. Results from a 391-patient trial showed that the drug reduced protein levels in the urine of patients.