Bates picks up £7m pan-Euro branding task for Pharmaton

Boehringer Ingelheim, the world's largest privately owned pharmaceutical company, has called in the Bates network as it attempts to build a consistent pan-European brand for its Pharmaton vitamin product.

The appointment brings to an end DFGW's hold on Pharmaton's estimated £7 million pan-European account. The company spent £1.5 million above the line in the UK last year. Its German parent company has opted to pool brand activity into a pan-European account as it seeks to mirror the international campaigns of its competitors, such as Centrum and Sanatogen, in the multivitamin sector.

Pharmaton is the first piece of pan-European business acquired by Bates since last month's appointment of the UK agency's group chief executive, Toby Hoare, to head the network's European operations. "You need global clients to get all the agencies acting in a similar way,

Hoare said at the time.

Pharmaton, which was launched as a multivitamin in 1961 and repositioned as an energy supplement in 1998, includes multivitamin tablets and Vit-Al, an energy supplement for the over-50s, in its range of products. Its key point of differentiation is the use of ginseng as an active ingredient. Pharmaton has 21 per cent of the European market for energy supplements.

Bates' first work for Pharmaton is expected to be a print campaign for Vit-Al. The company has recently divided its marketing spend between radio and TV in the UK. Pharmaton's campaigns have concentrated on drawing attention to the high level of fatigue in modern society.

The pan-European account remains separate from Pharmaton's US business, which DDB New York was appointed to in March 2000.

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