WS targets GSK staff on Cervarix

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) this week made its latest move in its scrap with Merck to be seen as the leading pharma company in cervical cancer prevention.

It is to use Weber Shandwick to advise on a global ­internal comms campaign to get its own staff fully au fait with its pre-launch product, Cervarix.

The ­product is set to become a fierce rival of Merck's Gardasil, as the companies prepare to bring their brand to market across the globe.

WS is GSK's retained global PR adviser on Cervarix, but had to pitch for the ­internal comms contract against agencies including Burson-Marsteller.

GSK denied the competitive nature of the pitch ­indicated that WS's grip on ­Cervarix's global retained account was under threat.WS London director Sally Evans leads the agency's work on the brief.

Cervarix made headlines this Monday when results of a study were released that ­indicated the product could reduce the number of deaths from cervical cancer by 76 per cent if given to every girl aged 12.

Comms for the product is particularly sensitive given critics' fears that giving youngsters a vaccine could encourage underage sex.

GSK continues to use Virgo Health PR and Clew Communications to handle Cervarix's UK comms.

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