Publicis has lost the 3.5m account for painkiller brand Anadin. Anadin’s makers, Whitehall Laboratories, has reassigned it to an undisclosed agency.
Although the move was unexpected, Whitehall Laboratories says the decision to reassign the brand was not connected to the fact that Publicis also holds the account of supermarket chain Asda.
Asda delisted Anadin Paracetamol in June as part of its war against price controls through the Resale Price Maintenance (RPM) on over-the-counter drugs.
Publicis still handles several other Whitehall Laboratories brands, including Centrum multi-vitamins and BiSoDol indigestion tablets.
Whitehall Laboratories stresses that the loss of Anadin will not affect Publicis hold on its other brands.
It is also looking for an agency to handle the launch of its US painkiller Advil in the UK. Publicis and Young & Rubicam are believed to be on the Advil shortlist.
Anadin is brand leader, with 17 per cent of the market by value (IRI Infoscan).
Nurofen, made by Crookes Healthcare, holds a 13.9 per cent value share of the sector.