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Eli Lilly Cuts to Three

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LOS ANGELES?Eli Lilly and Co. has narrowed the list of contenders for its $70 million-plus media buying business to three media agencies, sources said.

Making the cut are Bcom3's Starcom, Chicago; WPP's The Media Edge, New York; and and at least one other undisclosed agency. The Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical advertiser is preparing to launch several new drugs within the next year, including Cialis, a male impotence medicine, and wants to partner with a "large agency with national buying ability," according to one contender.

Interpublic Group's Draft Worldwide, New York, was the incumbent.

Eli Lilly was unavailable for comment. A decision is expected in December.