CommonHealth extends into European PR work.

WPP-owned US marketing services group CommonHealth, which represents 20 of the world’s top 30 pharmaceutical companies, is expanding its operations in Europe by increasing its PR capability.

WPP-owned US marketing services group CommonHealth, which

represents 20 of the world’s top 30 pharmaceutical companies, is

expanding its operations in Europe by increasing its PR capability.



The move is heralded by the appointment this month of Hill and

Knowlton’s Gil Bashe as one of CommonHealth’s three vice-chairmen. Bashe

is executive managing director and worldwide director of the health and

pharmaceuticals practice at H&K.



The agency will now formally join the other WPP-owned members of

CommonHealth.



These include Ogilvy and Mather Healthcare, Thomas Ferguson Associates

and Health Learning Systems.



The companies continue to calculate their own profit and loss and are

directly retained by clients won through CommonHealth, but the group,

set up in 1992, has co-ordinators across the US and Europe.



Hill and Knowlton, a New York-based agency, has 49 offices in 29

countries.



H&K and CommonHealth had a combined turnover of just under pounds 440

million last year.



Bashe will work closely with John Zweig, CEO of specialist

communications at WPP. He will continue in his current post at H&K,

reporting to chairman Howard Paster.



He will be responsible for strategic planning at CommonHealth, helping

clients to assess where future opportunities lie and where the two

companies’ combined resources can make a difference.



CommonHealth’s current services include strategic planning, market

research, professional and patient education, advertising, and sales

promotion and training.



’It’s a logical next step to move out, in terms of public relations and

geographically,’ said Zweig.



He added: ’Clients demand that their advertising and public relations

agencies understand all the forces impacting the health industry and how

they interact, from professional marketing to consumer choice and public

policy. Success depends on our ability to deliver across various

disciplines and geographical borders.’



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