Carat is the favourite to win a pitch for the £20m global media account for pharmaceutical giant Aventis, to be formed from the merger of RhÃÂ´ne-Poulenc and Hoechst.
A decision is said to be imminent and Carat, former incumbent on the Hoechst account, pitched against outsider Zenith and Mediapolis in France, which had the RhÃÂ´ne-Poulenc account.
The Conquest network won the task of launching a corporate campaign for Aventis in May (MW May 6). Conquest is to handle the work in Europe with other agencies owned by its parent WPP, covering the US and Japan.
It is thought that the new company also talked to Saatchi & Saatchi, Ammirati Puris Lintas, Lowe & Partners and Devarrieux Villaret.
RhÃÂ´ne-Poulenc and Hoechst announced their merger in December last year. It is expected that once the merger is completed in November, it will create the world’s second largest pharmaceutical company. Aventis will be listed on stock exchanges in Paris, Frankfurt and New York. It will focus on life sciences and has plans to divest itself of remaining chemical businesses.
Hoechst owns rheumatoid arthritis drug Arava, while RhÃÂ´ne-Poulenc produces anti-asthma drug Tilade.