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Advertising news in brief

Our weekly round-up of healthcare advertising stories.

Merger deadline set

Grey Global will officially merge with WPP Group on March 7, the companies have announced. In a statement, Grey Global said that the deadline was ìsubject to the requisite approval of the stockholders of Grey Global Group and the satisfaction or waiver of other closing conditions set forth in the merger agreementî. WPP captured Grey Global, the world's seventh largest advertising agency, last summer. The deal is expected to inflate WPP's total global revenue to just over £8bn.

ASA quizzes J&J.MSD

A national press advertising campaign for Johnson & Johnson.MSD's heart disease treatment, Zocor Heart-Pro, has been investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after two doctors, two members of the public and Which? complained that the ads were alarmist. The complainants believed that the ads exaggerated the risk of heart disease in groups of people mentioned in the adverts, including women over the age of 55, obese people and smokers. The ASA, however, said that it did not object to the ads and deemed the complaints as 'not upheld'.

Vitabiotics launches campaign

Supplements company, Vitabiotics, has launched a high-profile advertising campaign to promote all of its brand-leading products. The campaign will run throughout 2005 and will feature in various media such as consumer press, regional press, radio and across buses in most of the UK's major cities. The campaign also marks Vitabiotics' highest-ever advertising spend on a campaign, with a budget set at £5.5m, including £1m allocated solely for regional advertising support.

Anderton anti-drugs push

Former Wonderbra model, Sophie Anderton, has been asked by the Metropolitan Police to front an anti-drugs campaign, reports suggest. The Mail on Sunday reported that Anderton, who gave up her widely publicised cocaine habit five months ago, has been asked to appear on billboards as part of the Met's ongoing anti-drugs campaign. She told the newspaper: ìI will do it, but probably not until I've been clean for more than 12 months.î

2nd September 2008

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