INTERNATIONAL: Roche opts for integrated brand message

INDIANAPOLIS: Pharmaceutical giant Roche Diagnostics is shifting PR handling for its diabetes care unit to Porter Novelli from Edelman in a bid to consolidate its marketing communications with Omnicom agencies.

Porter Novelli's Chicago office will now oversee PR for Roche's Accu-Chek diabetes testing products. In a linked development Roche is also shifting advertising work for the group from Cramer Krasselt, in Chicago, to BBDO's Chicago office.

Discussions about the changes date back about ten months, according to vice-president of marketing for diabetes care Don Dumoulin. Omnicom subsidiary Corbett Worldwide Healthcare Communications, which works to target with healthcare professionals, first broached the subject with Dumoulin.

'I truly believe that the best way to build a brand is to have an integrated message,' Dumoulin said. 'I thought the power of the integrated message outweighed any relationships we had.'

While Dumoulin would not discuss overall marketing spending for the brand, he said that he expected the new arrangement to save money and time.

'We will eliminate duplicate hours to brief different agencies,' he said.

Duplicate research on core messages will also be eliminated. 'We'll home in on one way to do it,' he added.

Other Omnicom marcoms agencies that will be involved include Phd, which will handle the media buying aspect of the campaign; Footsteps, which will handle ethnic marketing; branding specialist firm Interbrand; and special events firm GMR Marketing.

Wendi Taylor Nations, the senior vice-president who oversees Porter Novellis' Chicago healthcare practice, is heading up the team for Roche. It is not known how many PN staffers will be involved. She added that the agency's Chicago healthcare unit should bring in over £500,000 this year.

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