Fuel PR consumer push to promote Nicorette brand

Fuel PR is to launch a consumer PR push to 'make smoking cessation more glamorous and fun' in a bid to promote Pharmacia Consumer Healthcare's flagship brand Nicorette.

Fuel, which secured the business last week after a competitive pitch understood to have involved at least three agencies, will kick off a promotional drive for the product next month.

Nicorette's consumer PR has been handled by the Shire Health Group since 1992.

Shire did not repitch for this work, but continues to be retained to handle healthcare professional and trade PR work for the Nicorette brand.

Fuel will promote the Nicorette product range - which includes patches, gum and lozenges - to consumer audiences.

Fuel PR managing director Gillian Waddell said: 'We'll be looking to make Nicorette stand out from the crowd by meeting smokers in creative and exciting ways.'

She added: 'Cigarette brands have a very glam, rock-and-roll image and we will support smokers seeking to quit by creating an image for Nicorette that is akin to those brands.'

Fuel health and beauty division account managers Ali O'Neill and Ally Moore will lead a team handling day-to-day work on the account, reporting to Waddell.

At Pharmacia, they report to commercial director Kay Patton and Nicorette senior brand manager Andrea Nichols.

Pharmacia's rivals in the nicotine-replacement therapy market include glaxosmithkline's NiQuitin CQ and Novartis's Nicotinell, plus brands launched by retailers such as Boots.

Around 28 per cent of men and 26 per cent of women in Great Britain are smokers, though these numbers have fallen since the 1960s, when 54 per cent of men smoked, along with 45 per cent of women.

Final approval for the acquisition of Pharmacia by Pfizer is expected to be granted at the end of this month.

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