Bausch & Lomb shifts US marketing to IPG, gives PR spoils to WSW

NEW YORK: Bausch & Lomb has aligned all of its US marketing communications into the Interpublic Group, with Weber Shandwick Worldwide being tapped to handle PR duties for all its product lines - vision care, pharmaceuticals, and surgical products. The firm has been hired alongside sister agencies Gotham and Torre Lazur Communications, which will handle advertising and marketing communications, respectively.

NEW YORK: Bausch & Lomb has aligned all of its US marketing communications into the Interpublic Group, with Weber Shandwick Worldwide being tapped to handle PR duties for all its product lines - vision care, pharmaceuticals, and surgical products. The firm has been hired alongside sister agencies Gotham and Torre Lazur Communications, which will handle advertising and marketing communications, respectively.

The combined marketing spend for B&L US is reported to be $30 million. Sources familiar with the account estimated WSW's portion at $3 million.

Prior to hiring WSW for PR, B&L was working with several firms under the Worldcom network, through lead agency Buck & Pulleyn. "This is the first time we are pulling together our efforts under one agency," explained Meg Graham, director of corporate communications for the eye-care company.

Citing restructuring as a North American business unit, Graham said, "Because of the way we are organized now, we want to give consistent messages to all our constituents across PR, advertising, and marketing communications."

The account will be led by WSW's global head of healthcare Laura Schoen, who is familiar with the client from her tenure at Euro RSCG PR, which has worked with B&L in the past.

Graham, who listened to pitches from a number of agencies, admitted, "It was in WSW's favor that its head of healthcare was Laura Schoen."

Graham declined to reveal the names of any other agencies that pitched for the business, but Schoen described the account as "very sought after."

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