Rx For Growth: Havas Forms Strategic Alliance With China's MedMed

Havas has formed a strategic alliance with China’s MedMed Group, one of the region’s big integrated healthcare communications agencies.

The agency provides customized marketing and brand promotion services for pharmaceutical companies.

Havas, the Paris-based ad holding company, said Medmed would collaborate with Harvas’ existing healthcare agencies, which include Havas Worldwide Health, Euro RSCG Life and Health4 Brands. The company's healthcare network handles a total of about 30 global brands in the health and phrama fields, including Sanofi, Pfizer and Novartis.

The financial terms were not disclosed, but a Publicis Groupe rep did confirm that the alliance is a joint venture; the partners will jointly work on client business. MedMed also has assignments with Sonfi, Pfizer and Novartis. 

Commenting on the partnership, David Jones, global CEO Havas, stated: “China is home to one of the world’s largest ageing populations and is an enormous market for the healthcare industry.” He added that the arrangement better positions Havas “in a priority growth market and sector.” 

The move is the latest in a series of maneuvers by holding companies to bulk up or realign their operations in the highly competitive and lucrative health-related marketing sector.

In the third quarter, Publicis Groupe -- also Paris-based -- bought three health-care related companies in France, India and China. Just last week, Publicis merged both Digitas Health and Razorfish Health into Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, the holding company’s global umbrella unit for its healthcare-related firms.

“Our clients are demanding global scale and networked solutions now,” said Michael du Toit, global co-president, Digitas & Razorfish Health. “Joining forces with PHCG will give Digitas Health and Razorfish Health the greatest ability to meet the needs of consumer and professional marketers worldwide.” 

In September, Toronto-based MDC Partners acquired control of healthcare-focused ad shop Concentric. At a recent investor conference MDC CEO Miles Nadal said the firm believes that the agency has the potential to grow annual revenues by double-digit percentages for the foreseeable future.

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