Saatchi loses Benecol in strategy shift by McNeil

Thompson, Stephanie; Petrecca, Laura
February 2000
Advertising Age;2/14/2000, Vol. 71 Issue 7, p3
Trade Publication
This article reports on the selection of McNeil Consumer Products to NCI Advertising to market its Benecol brand in February 2000. NCI has handled direct-to-physician advertising and direct-to-patient communications, including in-office brochures for the brand. The advertising agency will be responsible for the development of print and radio efforts in more mainstream consumer outlets. According to Janet Hedrick, senior VP-account supervisor at NCI, the consumer campaign extends the company's efforts to drive patients to talk to their doctors about Benecol. Benecol's consumer strategy resembles the growing number of direct-to-consumer efforts waged by pharmaceutical companies, which have successfully driven demand for prescription medications. The link between the stanol esters contained in Benecol and heart disease prevention has yet to gain approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


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