Bayer shuffles agency assignments to fold in Merck OTC brands

Bayer, gunning for the global consumer health lead, said over the summer that it's intent on keeping all the OTC brands it picked up in its $14.2 billion deal for Merck's ($MRK) unit. But in order for JWT, one of the German pharma's roster agencies, to take on Coppertone--a sizable Merck brand conflicting with existing sunscreen business from Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic--parent company WPP Group had to create a separate unit, AdWeek reports. Bayer also did some creative consolidating that helped BBDO come up big. The loser? Havas, the Merck partner that will lose Claritin and Dr. Scholl's after decades working on the brands. More from FiercePharmaMarketing