Red Door Communications has been appointed by pharmaceutical giant
Bayer to handle PR for the pre-launch and launch of Vardenafil -
medication designed to improve erectile function.
The appointment, made following a three-way pitch, sees Red Door scoop
the account, which will run for an initial period of one year.
Bayer's in-house team will handle the campaign to gain European approval
for the drug, likely to be sought in 2002.
Red Door will then work alongside the manufacturer to 'prepare the
market' for the product's appearance in an increasingly competitive
sector, which has until now been dominated by the runaway success of
Viagra. The agency will then handle the product launch, providing the EU
sanctions the drug.
According to Red Door MD Catherine Warne, the agency will be 'working
with the client over the next couple of weeks on the positioning of the
Red Door will seek to address the stigma surrounding the ailment, which
sees many suffer in silence rather than seek medical assistance.
The account is headed by Red Door director Julia Tollis, reporting to
Kerry Cresswell, product manager for Vardenafil at Bayer.
'It is estimated that nearly half of all men over 40 in the UK will have
erection problems by the year 2010,' claimed Tollis.
'There is clearly a great and increasing need for effective treatment
that is suitable for a wide range of men,' she added.