Novartis Consumer Health is considering consolidating its UK and European Ovaltine accounts into one agency.
Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO handles the &£3m UK Ovaltine account. Young & Rubicam handles the European business, which is mainly based in Switzerland.
Novartis denies a head-on pitch is taking place, but the two agencies have both been asked to work on projects in the UK.
The UK spend on Ovaltine is to increase to about &£5m this year. Media planning and buying is handled by CIA Medianetwork.
Novartis’ UK marketing director Alastair Paton says AMV.BBDO is creating a campaign to break later in the year in this country.
Y&R has been asked to work on another project to “transfer best practice” from Europe to the UK.
Paton says the projects might include TV work, but are likely to concentrate on outdoor and press ads. He adds: “We’re in the process of looking at how we manage brands like Ovaltine across Europe, but there is no pitch in progress.
“It may be that we can work out the best way of operating by trans-ferring best practice without deciding to use only one agency. But if it makes sense to move the work into one agency, we’ll do that.”
Global advertising for Novartis, which boasts brands such as Options, Nicotinell and Tixylix cough medicine, is overseen by international marketing manager Bert Demeyere.