Omnicom decides to drop out of race for Pfizer account

NEW YORK: Omnicom has taken itself out of the running for what is likely to be one of the most coveted PR accounts of 2004.

NEW YORK: Omnicom has taken itself out of the running for what is likely to be one of the most coveted PR accounts of 2004.

In November, Pfizer invited the holding company, along with main rivals WPP and Interpublic Group, to assemble its best PR team to pitch for the pharma giant's entire cardiovascular franchise, which includes the world's top-selling drug Lipitor.

Omnicom PR agencies Porter Novelli and Ketchum both confirmed that they would not be participating in the pitch, but deferred to their parent for the reason why. Pfizer also declined to comment on why the race had suddenly been whittled to two contenders. Omnicom did not return calls seeking comment.

Ketchum has had the Lipitor business to itself for the past five years, while Feinstein Kean Healthcare, a division of Ogilvy PR (WPP), had been working on a project basis on Norvasc and Caduet - the other two drugs included in Pfizer's cardiovascular franchise.

Pfizer will begin hearing pitches from the assembled WPP and IPG teams this month.

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