Bayer Reviews U.S. Media Duties

Bayer has just kicked off a review of its U.S. media assignment, just two years after consolidating the account with Interpublic's Initiative, sources confirmed.

Spending on the account is estimated to be $350 million to $400 million per sources.

In 2009 Bayer placed its U.S. HealthCare media duties with Initiative after a review. At the time the IPG media shop was already handling the client's Consumer Care division.

The HealthCare account had been split between Initiative, which handled national broadcast duties, and WPP's MEC, which handled the rest of the account.

It was not immediately clear why the account went into review, although it's believed that Initiative is pitching Novartis, the pharma assignment that went into review this spring.

There are numerous conflicts among agencies handling the larger pharmaceutical companies and in many cases those conflicts are accepted by the clients as long their agency is not handling specific drugs or remedies at another firm that are direct competition with the products the shop is stewarding for them. Initiative referred questions to the client. A Bayer spokesman did not immediately respond to an email asking for confirmation of the review.