GSK turns to Red for help

GlaxoSmithKline has drafted in extra PR muscle to promote a controversial weight-loss drug.

The pharmaceutical giant has briefed The Red Consultancy to handle a pan-European brief for Alli, the first diet drug to be made available over the counter in the UK.

The drug hit the headlines earlier this month after the BBC's Watchdog programme (13 May) revealed that some online chemists were selling Alli to children and those suffering from eating disorders.

The Red team will be led by head of consumer health Emily Morgan, reporting to GSK European comms director for Alli, Linda Wallace.

Morgan said: 'We will be helping with ideas generation for the markets. We will be holding workshops where the markets talk through potential ideas for campaigns and we then help them implement the ideas they feel will work best for their particular market.'

Red will work alongside retained agency Virgo, which continues to work on activity in the UK and EU.

Orlistat, which is manufactured under the brand name Alli, has been available on prescription in the UK since 1999.

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