Watson preps multi-year rebranding campaign

PARSIPPANY, NJ: Watson Pharmaceuticals is preparing for an awareness effort to alert stakeholders about its rebranding as Actavis. The multi-year rebranding campaign will kick off at the beginning of next year.

PARSIPPANY, NJ: Watson Pharmaceuticals is preparing for an awareness effort to alert stakeholders about its rebranding as Actavis. The multi-year rebranding campaign will kick off at the beginning of next year.

The name change follows Watson's acquisition of the Actavis Group for $5.4 billion at the end of last month. The merger resulted in Watson adding four staff members to its communications team and the departure of Frank Staud, Actavis' EVP of communications, according to Charlie Mayr, Watson's CCO. Mayr will take over Staud's duties.

So far, Watson has emphasized the benefits of the two companies joining forces and the importance of Watson re-branding itself for the sake of consistency.

Watson never trademarked its name globally because it was unclear when the company was founded in 1984 that generics would become a global industry, said Paul Bisaro, CEO of Watson, in a statement.

“As we initiated our global expansion strategy in 2009, it became clear that we could not establish a single, unified market presence under the Watson brand,” he said in a statement.

“The name change is a small part of the whole story,” Mayr said. “The bigger part of the story is what the new company will look like.”

With the merger behind it, the combined entity is the world's third-largest generic pharmaceutical company with operations in more than 60 countries.

To investors, the company has emphasized that it has a bustling US pipeline with approximately 180 applications pending with the Food & Drug Administration, as well as an international pipeline with more than 2,000 marketing authorizations awaiting approval.

The company is still deciding whether US AOR Makovsky + Company will help with the rebranding campaign or if it will issue an RFP. Branding agency Lippincott helped Watson adopt the Actavis name and created a new logo.

Staud did not immediately return a request for comment on his departure.

Last week, Watson reported that its third-quarter net income grew 24% to $172.3 million compared with the previous year. Net revenue increased 18.8% to $1.29 billion compared with Q3 2011.

In May, Endo Pharmaceuticals rebranded as Endo Health Solutions. GCI Health assisted the company with that effort.

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