Optimedia beats four to scoop Sanofi prize

Optimedia has won the £60 million global media planning and

buying account for the drug company Sanofi-Synthelabo.

The appointment follows a global review involving five networks that

went down to a shortlist of two. The agency beat the incumbent, OMD, in

a final pitch.

Optimedia will work for Sanofi in 35 countries, including the UK, with

Optimedia Paris acting as lead agency. Its task is to work on media

planning and buying for Sanofi's business-to-business, over-the-counter,

corporate and financial communications. It will begin working on the

account from January 2002.

Sanofi produces a variety of drugs, including treatments for

cardiovascular and central nervous system conditions. It is the

seventh-largest pharmaceutical group in Europe and is looking to expand

into the US and Asia. Its largest European market is France.

Simon Lloyd, Optimedia's chairman, said: "Sanofi has a presence in more

than 100 countries and was looking for a partner with a strong

international communications network. We are delighted to have been

appointed to work with one of the world's foremost pharmaceutical

groups; it is a great endorsement."

Separately, Optimedia has been awarded the global media account for

AspenTech, a provider of software solutions to industry.