NEWS: M&C Saatchi wins Glaxo image work

M&C Saatchi has won the pounds 5 million task of putting a human face on the drugs giant created by the merger of Glaxo and Wellcome.

M&C Saatchi has won the pounds 5 million task of putting a human face on

the drugs giant created by the merger of Glaxo and Wellcome.

The appointment, by what is now the world’s largest pharmaceuticals

group, is the first corporate assignment for the Maurice Saatchi


The shop has been briefed to build the new company’s profile in Britain

and the US, its most important markets.

A spokesman for the newly merged Glaxo Wellcome said that, although

discussions with agencies had taken place, no decision had been taken.

But it is believed M&C Saatchi is already working on a TV and print

campaign which will break next year, although nobody at the agency was

available to confirm this.

The agency was chosen over McCann-Erickson, a Wellcome roster agency,

and Leopard, which is run by the former Saatchi and Saatchi chief

executives, Terry Bannister and Roy Warman.

The corporate initiative comes nine months after Glaxo paid pounds 6.3

billion for Wellcome, a deal which will result in the loss of 7,500 jobs

over the next three years.

The campaign will target governments and opinion formers and aim to

establish a clear identity for the company by stressing the importance

of its research and development programme in the fight against illness

and disease.

Executives are anxious that the Glaxo Wellcome name should become well

known in a market in which a takeover frenzy has created a plethora of

unfamiliar names.

They also want to ensure it is able to operate in the best possible

trading conditions, particularly as its best-selling anti-ulcer drug,

Zantac, is due to go on sale over the counter in the US next year.

Zantac will lose patent protection in the US in mid-1997 along with

Zovirax, Wellcome’s anti-herpes medicine. Cheap copycat versions

threaten to strip dollars 2 billion from the company’s annual sales in


For M&C Saatchi, the appointment extends the corporate expertise built

up by David Kershaw and Bill Muirhead, two of its founding partners, and

Simon Dicketts and James Lowther, the joint creative directors, all of

whom helped develop such campaigns for BP and ICI while at Charlotte


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