Y&R nets $50m global brief for Roche flu pills

Young & Rubicam (Y&R) has been awarded the $50m (£35m) global consumer advertising account for new anti-viral influenza pill Tamiflu from Roche Pharmaceuticals.

Young & Rubicam (Y&R) has been awarded the $50m (&£35m) global consumer advertising account for new anti-viral influenza pill Tamiflu from Roche Pharmaceuticals.

The agency has picked up the account in all markets outside the US, where it already handles the business. The European account is understood to be worth $25m (&£17.5m).

Y&R pitched against five unnamed agencies. The agency’s healthcare communications division, Sudler & Hennessey Consumer Care, will handle Tamiflu’s prescription medicine communications.

The strategic consultancy unit of The Media Edge, TME 360, will handle media for markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa where the drug is due to roll out.

Tamiflu will compete head-to-head in worldwide markets with GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Relenza.

Tamiflu is sold as tablets, while Relenza is taken using an inhaler. In the US, advertising for Relenza is handled by Saatchi & Saatchi.

Relenza was launched earlier than Tamiflu in the US, but Tamiflu is reported to have claimed a significantly bigger market share than GSK’s product.

The international consumer marketing manger for Tamiflu, Bill Florida, says: “Young & Rubicam and Sudler & Hennessey have helped us to win the market share battle from GSK, so far, in the USA. We aim to integrate the necessary skills from the agency group throughout our global roll-out.”

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