NEWS: SmithKline seeks financial PR firm for new account

SmithKline Beecham, the Anglo-American pharmaceuticals giant, is hunting for a financial PR consultancy in the UK to plug a gap in its media relations capability.

SmithKline Beecham, the Anglo-American pharmaceuticals giant, is hunting

for a financial PR consultancy in the UK to plug a gap in its media

relations capability.



The company has invited four firms to make presentations in the middle

of December and is hoping to have an agency in place in the first

quarter of next year.



‘We have never really had a financial agency before and we believe now

we need that kind of input,’ explained corporate information director

Lynne Smith. ‘We are looking at the opportunities available.



‘We have a good relationship with pharmaceutical editors and we have

identified a gap in the financial area that needs to be filled.’



SmithKline Beecham works with just one corporate PR agency, College

Hill, which was hired in October last year to supplement its in-house

team of two on a number of investor relations projects.



College Hill chief executive Alex Sandberg declined to comment on

whether the agency would be pitching for the new business.



‘SmithKline Beecham is a big business,’ he said. ‘They use a

surprisingly large number of suppliers and I couldn’t pre-empt its

decision.’



The company, which reported a nine per cent rise in third quarter pre-

tax profits this year to pounds 310 million, maintains a department of

nine handling relations with the pharmaceutical and consumer press, but

has no team dedicated solely to financial public relations.



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