Troubled drugs giant AstraZeneca calls in dual agency support

Troubled drugs giant AstraZeneca has named two agencies as its preferred suppliers, amid a backdrop of job cuts and plunging share prices.

Cutbacks: AstraZeneca is axing 7,300 jobs worldwide
Cutbacks: AstraZeneca is axing 7,300 jobs worldwide

The UK’s second largest drug manufacturer is understood to have called in Tonic Life and Red Door Communications for its first UK list, following a seven-month procurement process.

However, industry insiders have questioned whether the contracts will last, given the news regarding job cuts and the chief executive’s departure, which came just days after the roster was confirmed.

A source said: ‘The future of AstraZeneca’s UK marketing operation is unclear. The whole exercise could be redundant.’

AstraZeneca would not comment on these claims, and said the agency shift comes as part of regular reviews of supplier relationships.

Simon Moore, the firm’s UK corporate comms director, said there were ‘no plans to change the UK comms team’ but would not be drawn on whether the firm’s global PR suppliers were to be reviewed.

He added: ‘The announcement in February regarding potential role reductions was part of an ongoing global restructuring programme. The potential impact for any particular geography is not confirmed at this stage, but this is not a factor in the way we manage our UK PR agencies.’

AstraZeneca, which is grappling with  rising drug development costs, suffered a 19 per cent fall in profits in the period from January to March of this year.

Chief executive David Brennan is standing down in June without a permanent replacement appointed.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.