Hill and Knowlton has restructured its healthcare division, which
boasts over 60 staff and fees of more than pounds 4.3 million. This is
the result of the merger of its consumer healthcare division with its
The move has been prompted by the development of DTC (direct to
consumer) advertising in the US. While it is currently illegal to
advertise pharmaceutical products directly to consumers in Europe, it is
expected this will change - possibly within the next two years.
H&K claims the new structure gives the company a unique offering on the
UK healthcare PR market, combining consumer brand experience with hard
ethical healthcare knowledge. This will allow pharmaceutical companies
access to mainstream brand positioning techniques, and consumer brands
to target healthcare professionals.
H&K’s parent company WPP owns the US group Quantum, an expert in DTC
advertising, and is said to be looking to set up the same service in the
UK and Europe.
Wendy Mair, who has worked at H&K for ten years and returned from
maternity leave in August, will head the new group. European healthcare
head Dr Martin Godfrey becomes UK chairman, still with responsibility
for the European practice.