Sanofi has appointed WPP's GroupM as its media agency of record in Pakistan, Campaign Asia-Pacific has learned.
GroupM Pakistan has taken on the remit for a year, specifically for Selsun Blue, the over the counter (OTC) anti-dandruff consumer care product that is manufactured, marketed and distributed by the biopharmaceutical company in Pakistan.
Campaign understands that Sanofi previously worked with RED Communication Arts, an affiliate of the Publicis Groupe, in the same capacity.
The account is said to be worth around $1 million, covering all four provinces of Pakistan. As the media agency of record, GroupM will be responsible for all media-related activities and strategy, working on the campaign through Mindshare, its subsidiary responsible for the majority of WPP's billings.
Sanofi launched Selsun Blue in 2013, under the leadership of Raheel Jamal, the OTC category leader at the time. Working with RED Communication Arts, the go-to-market strategy was deployed across four provinces, fixating on the clinical positioning of the product, in contrast to the consumer positioning led by Unilever and P&G for Clear and Head & Shoulders, respectively.
According to Sheikh Danish Ejaz, the former dedicated account director for Sanofi at RED Communication Arts, despite a lack of experience within Pakistan with regards to consumer product marketing, Sanofi managed to gain single-digit market share.
A source at Sanofi told Campaign that within one year, Selsun Blue became a challenger brand, empowered with a significant advantage wherein the medical professional network of Sanofi's clinical team would recommend the product to their patients, signalling and reaffirming the technical benefits of the product.
It was the difference between neighbourhood medical professionals endorsing a product and its ability to cleanse the scalp versus celebrities on TV making the same claim. "For the consumer afflicted with dandruff," said a source at Sanofi, "the endorsement of a doctor is much more believable and appears grounded in prevention instead of cure."
Statement seeking calls and emails to GroupM Pakistan and Mindshare went unanswered.