Sanofi shakes up agency team, adding WPP Group to media and creative partners

The WPP Group grabbed a spot on Sanofi’s ad agency roster after the Big Pharma spent six months reviewing its marketing team. WPP joins Publicis and Havas as creative and media agencies across Sanofi’s business units, including its newly beefed-up consumer health operation.

WPP eased into Sanofi as the agency that handled Boehringer Ingelheim’s consumer business, which Sanofi took over earlier this year. Sanofi swapped its Merial unit of animal health brands for Boehringer’s consumer brands, except in China, in an estimated $12.5 billion trade agreed to in 2016. Sanofi OTC brands include the allergy brands Allegra and Nasacort, and Maalox GI remedies, while the added BI brands include Ducolax and antispasmodic Buscopan.

WPP’s Group M/Mindshare is the new global media agency partner outside of U.S. and Japan, while Havas will handle media for Sanofi's prescription drugs business and planning for consumer healthcare in the U.S.

Independent New York agency KWG will remain the U.S. media buyer for Sanofi consumer healthcare. To handle the creative side of the win, WPP plans to form an international Team Sanofi division, according to a report in Adweek.

The overall review, begun in March, sought to reconsider and possibly consolidate Sanofi’s estimated €900 million media account after the Boehringer brands were added.

“Each agency plays a critical role in supporting all integrated marketing services, including digital, consumer advertising, healthcare communications and public relations,” Sanofi said in a statement.