While the adworld is agog wondering who will buy digital indie LBi (Omnicom is reported to be the favourite if boss John Wren can steel himself to pay around $600m) another booming area we hear much less about is healthcare marketing.
This suits all the agencies concerned because healthcare market is a funny old business, dependent on high drug prices and cosy arrangements with the medical profession to sustain its generous margins.
But Interpublic’s McCann has stepped out of the shadows to announce the purchase of privately-owned UK healthcare consultancy Double Helix for up to £50m ($78m). A chunky £35m is being paid up front, suggesting that Double Helix is highly profitable.
The company, which employs about 90 people with offices in London, New York and Singapore, was founded by Wayne Phillips (left), a doctor and former pharmaceutical executive, in 1995. Phillips is staying with the business.