AstraZeneca picks WPP as a primary creative partner for its global oncology business

U.K.-based comms giant WPP has been selected as one of the primary networks serving global advertising efforts for AstraZeneca’s oncology business.

As a key creative partner to the Big Pharma, WPP will help develop advertising strategies for its cancer medicines around the world. The oncology segment’s dedicated WPP team will be based in both the U.S. and the U.K., and it will comprise comms experts from across the WPP conglomerate led by VML Health, with additional support from Grey Health and Ogilvy Health.

“Collaboration with partners who share our passion is critical for us to achieve progress against our bold ambition to one day eliminate cancer as a cause of death. WPP has been a long-standing partner and we are looking forward to expanding our work together,” Mohit Manrao, head of U.S. oncology at AstraZeneca, said in a statement.

AstraZeneca has long looked to WPP for creative support. The agency recently listed the pharma among the handful of “new client assignment wins” that brought in $800 million in the first quarter of this year.

Across the conglomerate, CMI Media Group helps support AstraZeneca’s oncology media planning and buying—and will continue to do so amid WPP’s new oncology-focused creative partner assignment—while VML proudly touts its “innovative and award-winning work” for the drugmaker, among other prominent clients, and has previously earned multiple agency of record remits from AstraZeneca.

The oncology business is a powerhouse for AstraZeneca: Last year, it saw total revenue growth (PDF) of 21%, thanks to multibillion-dollar performances from Tagrisso, Imfinzi, Lynparza and Calquence, among the rest of the portfolio.

Already this year, AstraZeneca has churned out promising data for cancer drugs Enhertu, Tagrisso and Imfinzi, the last of which also snagged another FDA approval this spring. Meanwhile, according to PatientView survey data released last month, the pharma’s reputation has soared to second place among oncology drug makers in patients’ eyes.