French drug firm taps MS&L to run its US product PR

NEW YORK: MS&L will handle product PR for Sanofi-Synthelabo in the US, after the French pharmaceutical company absorbed smaller French-German rival Aventis in a $6 billion deal that was inked in the middle of last month.

NEW YORK: MS&L will handle product PR for Sanofi-Synthelabo in the US, after the French pharmaceutical company absorbed smaller French-German rival Aventis in a $6 billion deal that was inked in the middle of last month.

Publicis Consultants, with its headquarters in Paris, will handle post-merger communications for Sanofi, now the world's third-largest pharmaceutical maker. Sanofi will lead the continental European pharmaceutical market with about a 10% market share.

New York-based MS&L had a relationship with Aventis before the merger, and Publicis had a relationship with Sanofi, said Allison Ross, corporate communications manager at MS&L. Details of the post-merger relationship between MS&L and Sanofi are not yet available, Ross said. She declined to disclose the amount of the PR budget.

The merger capped months of financial drama. Aventis had leaned toward Swiss pharmaceutical maker Novartis, but the French government intervened to help broker a deal with Sanofi. The merger was approved by the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, last Monday.

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