AstraZeneca to consolidate advertising into WPP, Publicis

NEW YORK - AstraZeneca is conducting a wide-reaching review of its US advertising, which will see it consolidate its business with Publicis Groupe and WPP Group.

The move will see a number of its 11-strong creative agency roster cut. The pharmaceutical giant said that it had previously had nine full-service agencies across seven major networks and two independent agencies.

Agencies losing out on work could include Omnicom Group's TBWA\Healthworld, although AstraZeneca refused to confirm the names of agencies being axed as a result of the consolidation. Grey Global Group and the Interpublic Group of Companies also count AstraZeneca as a client.

The review, dubbed the AstraZeneca Agency Optimisation Project, aims to integrate its marketing efforts across all media.

It follows in the footsteps of Reckitt Benckiser, which last year consolidated its work into Havas-owned Euro RSCG and WPP's J Walter Thompson.

Tony Zook, senior vice-president of commercial operations, said: "As part of an in-depth review of a number of critical corporate activities, we saw an opportunity to consolidate our agency business in a way that will create closer management relationships and develop strong shared-risk-based partnerships."

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