INTERNATIONAL: Pfizer chooses Asian agencies for Viagra

ASIA: Pfizer is appointing agencies across Asia to handle healthcare and consumer PR for its new drug, Viagra, designed to treat impotence.

ASIA: Pfizer is appointing agencies across Asia to handle

healthcare and consumer PR for its new drug, Viagra, designed to treat

impotence.



This month the company retained Ruder Finn Abbott in Hong Kong, and is

likely to appoint in South Korea, Taiwan and China.



Ruder Finn already co-ordinates PR worldwide for Viagra, while Chandler

Chicco handles US PR. In Asia, Edelman PR Worldwide in Malaysia,

Foreword Communications in Singapore, Susan Andrews Communications Group

in Australia, Lexington International in the Philippines and Presko

Shandwick in Thailand have all been appointed to manage PR locally.



Viagra has received regulatory approval in Thailand but countries in the

rest of the region could take up to two years to approve the drug for

sale.



Before the drug is approved, Pfizer is not allowed to promote it, but in

certain countries is allowed to make statements to clarify

misconceptions about the drug.



Media coverage on Viagra has been extensive throughout Asia, despite the

absence of a media campaign to promote the drug in the region. The

company estimates almost all the coverage in Asia has been generated

from the US.



Ruder Finn started working on Viagra from the US, one year ago. The

agency began co-ordinating PR in the Asian region in February, across 11

countries.



It is responsible for issues management, and providing media training

for Pfizer spokespeople and medical experts testing Viagra. Ruder Finn

Abbott in Hong Kong will help Pfizer to prepare statements to put to the

government as it waits for regulatory approval.



Once the drug is approved, Pfizer’s agencies will launch campaigns aimed

at consumer and medical markets.



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