Drugs giant seeks global agency

Pharmaceutical giant Aventis, formed from the merger of Rhone-Poulenc and Hoechst, is seeking a global advertising agency to create a worldwide campaign to launch its new name.

Rhone-Poulenc and Hoechst announced the merger in December, which has produced the world’s second largest pharmaceuticals group.

The new company is talking to five agencies – Saatchi & Saatchi, Ammirati Puris Lintas, Lowe &

Partners, HSR&S/Conquest, and Devarrieux Villaret – about the multimillion pound account.

A spokeswoman for Rhone-Poulenc says: “The campaign is designed to prepare the public and communicate the name of the new company. We are hoping that the campaign will launch at the beginning of July, although there are a number of stages to go through before then.”

Aventis wants a campaign in place by the end of June, when the merger is expected to be finalised.

A successful merger between France’s Rhone-Poulenc and Germany’s Hoechst would result in a group with combined sales of $20bn (12bn).

Hoechst owns rheumatoid arthritis drug Arava, while Rhone-Poulenc produces anti-asthma drug Tilade.

The company is now looking for savings of $1.2bn (700m) through aggressive restructuring which could result in the loss of up to 10,000 jobs.

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