Roche Looks to FCB for $30 Mil. Account

NEW YORK Interpublic Group’s Foote Cone & Belding is poised to assume direct-to-consumer advertising chores from pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche for two drugs to treat hepatitis C, sources said. Annual media spending for upcoming campaigns could exceed $30 million, sources said.

FCB in New York competed in a review that included three other undisclosed agencies. Final pitches were held last week, sources said. No consultant was used.

The drugs, Pegasys and Copegus, received Food and Drug Administration approval two years ago, but FCB would create the first DTC campaign for them, sources said.

The client is also awaiting FDA approval on using the two drugs to treat hepatitis C in patients who are also infected with HIV.

Executives at FCB could not be reached for comment. A client executive at Hoffman-La Roche’s Nutley, N.J., headquarters declined to comment. The company is a division of Roche Group in Basel, Switzerland.