MindShare wins $275 Million Bristol-Myers U.S. Media Acct.

NEW YORK — After a quarter century of handling its U.S. media buying and planning in-house, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. handed its $275 million media budget to WPP Group’s MindShare, sources said. A spokeswoman frpm Bristol Myers confirmed the Mindshare win but declined to confrim the amount involved.

MindShare beat out Initiative, MediaVest, and TN Media, all out of New York.

In September 2000, Starcom MediaVest Group, which handles the lion’s share of Bristol-Myers? media buying in Asia, won the client’s consolidated global planning and buying account. U.S. media was not part of that review.

A wave of media consolidations have hit pharmaceutical companies in the past few months: GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Schering-Plough all consolidated their media assignments, which combined total more than $1.5 billion in billings. And now, Swiss drug marketer Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. is currently exploring options and is reported to be talking with several media agencies.