Abbott Labs to Name FCB for $20 Mil. FreeStyle Account

NEW YORK Abbott Laboratories is poised to name Interpublic Group’s Foote Cone & Belding to handle consumer advertising for its FreeStyle offering, sources said.

The product is a glucose monitor used by diabetics, and sources said billings could exceed $20 million over the next year as the company rolls out a major consumer campaign.

The New York shop pitched last month against WPP Group’s The Quantum Group in Parsippany, N.J., and WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, also in New York.

FreeStyle became part of the Abbott diabetes care division with the company’s May 2004 acquisition of TheraSense, which manufactures the product. A representative for FCB referred calls to the Alameda, Calif., client, where executives could not immediately be reached.

TheraSense spent $15 million on ads for FreeStyle in 2003, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

This marks the fourth win in three months for FCB’s New York office. In September, the shop landed ad chores for Hoffman La Roche’s new hepatitis C drug Pegasus (billings undisclosed) and creative duties on the estimated $10 million New York Times account. In October, FCB won the $175 million Office of National Drug Control Policy business.