The Origins of La Biomarine and Similar Cards by Publimer

by Tom Fortunato, July 5, 2008
Updated June 24, 2011

Back in March of this year I was contacted by Jeannine Goodeau (email:, a collector from Dieppe, France, and part of a very active philatelic club there that has done extensive research on postcards issued by the French drug manufacturer La Biomarine headquartered there.

Details provided me give an insight to the tours of not only La Biomarine but also several other companies that used similar looking cards in a variety of industries. Ms. Godeau and her club heard back from a La Biomarine spokesperson who sent this letter (in French, with a rough English translation added by me, (read the letter) and several other documents.

At least 19 different "tours" were organized by La Biomarine between 1947 and 1966 touting three drugs; Marinol, Plasmarine and Ionyl (tour listing). All cards were printed locally in Dieppe, with foreign stamps imported to the city where cards were assembled and readied for mailing. Presumably these were then forwarded to the appropriate country for mailing. Note that many more postcards from La Biomarine have been documented not fitting into these tours.

Most interesting was a chart explaining the link between La Biomarine and Publimer (see the chart), the Parisian firm that marketed the postcard scheme to other companies, some of which are listed in my master spreadsheet. Years listed are from confirmed cards. These include:

Drug Firms

Firms with Other Products

I'd like to add to this list the following that signed their cards as:

Bill Holland reports one other firm in his "Doctor Cards in the Pacific" article posted on this site:

You may also be interested in the following 2007 French article I found dealing with La Biomarine headquarters and its products (click here).

Update 06/24/11

An article just published from the Falkland Islands Philatelic Study Group has uncovered the probable advertising agency responsible for at least the 1954/55 Falkland Islands mailings, if not all the Publimer issues. It described the advertising firm of Paul Baratte and Associates of London as the requestors of over 41,000 1/2 pence Falkland stamps for use on postcards mailed to French addresses. See the full article here.