Pfizer passes global Lipitor account to WS

NEW YORk: Pfizer has awarded the global brief for Lipitor, the world's top-selling drug, to Weber Shandwick.

The appointment follows a pitch believed to have included submissions by Fleishman-Hillard, APCO Worldwide and GCI Group.

Paul Fitzhenry, senior director of corporate media relations at Pfizer, confirmed WS had emerged triumphant, but declined to comment further. News of the review broke in early October (PRWeek, 6 Oct).

The former agency backing on Lipitor came from WPP Health Success, a multi-agency entity created for Pfizer (PRWeek, 6 Feb 2004). WS global healthcare president Laura Schoen declined to comment.

WS won a global account for Pfizer's planned Lipitor combination statin - torcetrapib/atorvastatin, which is positioned as a preferable option to Lipitor for some patients - in September (PRWeek, 5 Sep).

Additionally, WS hired Amy Delmore, previously a senior media relations specialist at Pfizer Health Solutions, as Chicago-based V-P in March. Delmore also previously worked on the Lipitor PR team while at Ketchum.

Lipitor, a cholesterol drug, has annual global sales of almost £7bn.

SEPERATELY... The Alzheimer's Association of the US last week selected WS as its agency of record after a three-round competitive pitch. The agency will lead an integrated marketing, consumer-focused campaign.

‘The Alzheimer's Association has a really robust internal team in place,' said Michael Schiferl, SV-P and director of media relations for WS in Chicago. ‘The broader integrated effort is trying to take it to the next level and raise the visibility of the association and the good things it is doing.'

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