Merz Aesthetics names Behrman as its US AOR

Merz Aesthetics/OTC, a division of Germany-based Merz Pharmaceuticals, has hired Behrman Communications as its US AOR.

GREENSBORO, NC: Merz Aesthetics/OTC, a division of Germany-based Merz Pharmaceuticals, has hired Behrman Communications as its US AOR.

Merz makes Xeomin, a competitor of Botox; Radiesse, a volumizing filler; and dermal enhancer Belotero Balance.

It brought on the firm after an RFP process. The company wanted an agency that could effectively reach out to both the consumer and medical audiences, said Jim Hartman, VP and US head of the department.

Behrman fit the bill in large part due to its president, Megan Driscoll, who has experience in the aesthetics space, Hartman said, adding that he hopes the partnership will make the company and its products better known.

“For us, we're the new kids on the block in our aesthetics effort; we hope to get better, more complete, and accelerated visibility of our brands,” Hartman said.

While it is a new assignment in many ways, some work now performed by Behrman was previously held by the firm Medical Dynamics. Hartman said it was not the most efficient partnership, noting there was a “sense of disconnection in terms of strategy.” The company did not ask the agency to re-bid during the search process, he said.

Medical Dynamics CEO Charlotte Wray said her firm has not worked with Merz for at least a year and wished it the best moving forward.

Driscoll said she felt her firm won the assignment not only because of her work for clients such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals, but also because it offered a tangible metrics plan for its assignments.

She added that the company faces stiff competition.

“With Xeomin, we're up against Botox, which is like the Kleenex of injectables,” Driscoll said.

She explained that based on interest in planned media briefings, there is an appetite to learn more about the product. Also, as the stigma in getting this kind of treatment decreases, there is a growing consumer base that may be interested in trying an alternative product to Botox, Driscoll said.

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