Is Pfizer consolidating its ad-agency work?

When a drugmaker with an $800 million advertising-slash-marketing account sends out a request for information to its current agencies and to a handful it hasn't worked with before, speculation is bound to be rampant. That's what's happening with Pfizer and its recent RFI, designed to gather info from consumer shops and from doctor-oriented groups, too. Among the solicitees: Kaplan Thaler Group, McCann Erickson, Cline Davis & Mann and Euro RSCG Life.

The way the RFI was worded has prompted rumors that Pfizer wants to consolidate all its business--advertising, direct marketing, interactive marketing, public relations, et al--at a single holding company, just as Sanofi-Synthelabo did at Publicis Groupe in 2003. Pfizer itself says it's not that far along in the process yet. Another possible indicator: Pfizer Australia consolidated its biz with IPG earlier this year.

Right now, Pfizer has its business parceled out among several agencies for each discipline. Maybe its quest to streamline its operations is extending to its ad-and-marketing outsourcing, too.

- read the story in AdWeek