French Drug Concern Chooses Publicis Groupe

BOSTON Pharmaceutical concern Sanofi-Synthelabo said on Tuesday that it has hired Publicis Groupe for global communications chores following a review of holding companies.

The ad budget is approximately $245 million and the contract runs for three years, the client said in a statement. Previously, the work had been split among shops at various holding companies. Paris-based Publicis beat out crosstown rival Havas and London-based WPP Group in the review’s final round, sources said. Neither the client nor Publicis could immediately be reached.

“The goal of this worldwide [assignment] is to improve services, to reinforce coherence of both image and messages and to optimize costs,” the client said in a statement.

Sanofi, the maker of sleeping-pill brand Ambien, spent about spent $120 million on U.S. ads in 2002, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Havas-owned Euro RSCG Worldwide in New York has worked for Ambien in the U.S.

—Adweek staff report