Novartis in global review to cream off ‘best talent’

BASEL: Swiss drugs company Novartis is reviewing its global agency relationships as it looks to create what it is referring to internally as the ‘Best Talent Network’.

The global review, being led out of the US and the firm's HQ in Basel, concerns agencies such as Ruder Finn, Chandler Chicco Agency and Fleishman-Hillard.

Novartis wants to ensure each agency's performance meets more clearly defined 'performance standards'. 

Basel-based global director of pharma comms Eric Althoff played down the significance of the review, saying it was no more than
a 'fine-tuning' of agency relations.

He said: 'We routinely evaluate our agencies. We want to ensure we are working with the best talent.'

However, he added: 'Our pharma comms group has historically focused on internal comms. Now we are aiming to be more externally focused.'

Althoff said the review, which involves procurement and comms staff, had no definite timescale and was simply 'ongoing'.

Its aim is to identify which agencies, and agency staff, have the most appropriate experience in different therapeutic areas and ensure they are able to achieve 'key performance indicators' in their work.

Agency sources believe little change is likely in respect of which firms Novartis will use in the short and medium term. Its UK PR team said its own, separate relations with agencies on UK-specific contracts were not being reviewed.

Novartis drugs include high-profile cardiovascular brand Diovan. The company's second-quarter results were better than expected, with profits up nine per cent, driven by sales of both Diovan and cancer treatment Gleevec.

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.