Bayer consumer biz on digital agency hunt, in shift from 'TV-centric' to 'channel-agnostic'

Bayer is looking to consolidate its consumer brands' digital marketing and is officially searching for a digital agency of record.

According to Advertising Age, which snagged a copy of the agency proposal, Bayer Consumer Care spends $500 million annually, but that spending is mostly on traditional advertising, especially broadcast. Bayer wants the digital agency winner "to help shift its marketing culture from that of a traditionally TV-centric organization to a channel-agnostic organization that maximizes digital."

Bayer also wants the digital agency to change its current siloed product-centric system in which "each brand team constantly reinvents the wheel," Ad Age reported.

Not surprisingly, with the patient-centered focus in healthcare these days, Bayer further mentions its desire for a "consumer-centric solution."

Last year, Bayer bought Merck & Co.'s ($MRK) consumer health portfolio in a $14 billion battle that included purported bids from Sanofi ($SNY), Novartis ($NVS) and Reckitt Benckiser. The deal shifted top Merck OTC drugs such as Claritin and Afrin to Bayer, along with consumer health brands such as Coppertone.

After the merger, Bayer shifted and consolidated creative duties between its roster agencies EnergyBBDO and JWT. While those agencies do some digital work along with several other project shops, their core creative duties will not be affected by the review, Ad Age reported.

Bayer said it plans to extract an extra $400 million in revenue from the Merck OTC portfolio, an analyst wrote in an investor note this summer, and is planning new product launches of brands like Claritin and Dr. Scholl's outside the U.S.

- read the Ad Age article

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