Colle & McVoy joins $25m Novartis effort

GREENSBORO, NC: Novartis Animal Health US has hired Minneapolis-based Colle & McVoy to handle its $25 million integrated marketing, advertising, and PR business.

GREENSBORO, NC: Novartis Animal Health US has hired Minneapolis-based Colle & McVoy to handle its $25 million integrated marketing, advertising, and PR business.

While exact PR spending figures have yet to be determined, Bob Seitz, senior corporate communications and PR manager for Novartis Animal Health, expects PR to account for 15% to 20% of the budget - between $3.75 million and $5 million.

Seitz's group had worked with New York-based Earle Palmer Brown for more than 11 years, but was forced to search for a new firm when parent PubliGroupe closed that operation.

Novartis had been using Golin/Harris International on a project basis while it searched for a new agency, Seitz said.

It selected Colle & McVoy because of its experience in the animal-health arena. "We felt they could hit the ground running," said Seitz. "PR is significant in our strategic effort."

While various Novartis brands are known in the animal-health market, Seitz wants to achieve a higher profile for the parent brand, Novartis.

PR efforts will be targeted at animal-health professionals and consumers.

Novartis' prime market is women age 32-50 with kids, a group likely to have pets. But the products are distributed through veterinarians.

Colle & McVoy had previously worked for Pfizer in the animal-health area, as well as with Purina, CEO Chuck Kushell noted. It even has a client that offers pet health insurance.

"We have worked on all creatures, great and small," he said. "(For this account), we'll handle the full spectrum, from corporate PR to crisis management to speaker training."

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