NEW YORK: Sanofi SA's Pasteur vaccine division is on the hunt for a firm to promote its flu and meningitis businesses, according to numerous sources familiar with the solicitation. The account is worth $4 million.
The contract is for work in the US only. It also consists of branded work, as well as two major consumer-facing programs with significant social media elements, the sources said. The length of the contract is unknown at this time.
The search comes months after the company said it was working with the University of Pittsburgh to create a universal flu vaccine that protects against all strains of influenza. The vaccine could potentially cover influenza strains circulating over multiple seasons, eliminating the need for a seasonal flu shot.
This past flu season, it shipped 6 million units of a higher-dose influenza vaccine targeting at-risk seniors. However, many hospitals and the elderly stuck with traditional flu shots, as they were unsure of the effectiveness of the new offering.
Cooney/Waters is the longtime incumbent working with the vaccine unit. On its website, the firm said it handles PR, public policy, and public advocacy matters for the Sanofi subsidiary. Late last year, it helped oversee a tour around the country to promote Sanofi's Fluzone Intradermal vaccine, the only FDA-approved intradermal flu vaccine in the US.
Cooney/Waters has declined to participate in the agency search process, which it said followed the end of its last contract with Sanofi Pasteur.
“While we have had a long and productive relationship with the company spanning many years, we determined this was a logical point to end our relationship,” the firm said in an emailed statement.
Ketchum also won some Sanofi business in 2011.
Representatives from Sanofi and Cooney/Waters did not return a request for comment.