Reckitt puts Virgo on global Nurofen brief

Reckitt Benckiser is to use Virgo Health PR to promote its Nurofen brand globally.

The appointment will see the agency targeting consu­mers and healthcare professionals to promote the OTC painkiller, which Reckitt acquired as part of its purchase of Boots Healthcare International earlier this year.

Virgo's appointment follows a five-way pitch against ‘several mainstream international agencies', according to Simon Merritt, global category director for anal­gesics at Reckitt.

He said the agency would ‘work on reputation manage­ment and provide support for our key global brand launches'.

The selection of Virgo is intriguing, given the agency was hired 18 months ago to handle a major campaign for rival Anadin (for Wyeth Consumer Healthcare) in the UK (PRWeek, 8 February 2005). But its campaign never got off the ground as the PR budget was pulled.

Anadin is now hand­led by Spink Consumer Relations (PRWeek, 30 June).

Reckitt's PR arrangements for Nurofen in individual countries are likely to be unaffected by Virgo's hire, said Merritt. Hill & Knowlton will continue to retain the UK-specific account.

Nurofen is sold in more than 90 countries. Virgo said no territory had yet been earmarked as a PR priority.

Earlier this year, Reckitt handed Tonic Life Communications a new global remit for disinfectant  Dettol (PRWeek, 1 June).

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