INTERNATIONAL: Edelman aids gsk China in-house PR

BEIJING: Pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (gsk) is to set up

its first in-house PR department in China and has tasked Edelman with

the job and a corporate PR brief.

Edelman pitched against two other agencies for a remit that includes

supporting the Anglo-American firm in establishing a PR department and

its first attempts to build a corporate profile in China.

Edelman Beijing general manager Alistair Nicholas and senior account

manager Li Lingping will lead the account, working with gsk China

corporate affairs manager Betsy Li.

'There is a very strong government relations department at gsk, but they

don't have even the most basic functions for PR - not even a press kit

or anyone who actually runs PR,' said Nicholas.

He said the first task is to appoint a head of the PR department before

deciding its eventual structure.

gsk is the £18bn company that resulted from the merger of Glaxo

Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham last year.

The company is working on localising its corporate identity in China

after launching its new brand globally this year. Edelman will support

the launch of the identity.

'The work will involve messages in the marketplace, dictating how the

public identifies both rationally and emotionally with the brand,' said


gsk has five joint ventures and an investment company, and spent nearly

£7m on collaborative research and development programmes in China

last year.

In the US, gsk recently announced it was cutting the price of its drugs

for elderly Americans with low incomes.

The firm's 'Orange Card' programme allows poorer pensioners to claim 30

per cent off prescription medicines.

It is part of gsk's attempts to reposition its ethical stance after,

this week, allowing a South African company to make cheap copies of its

anti-Aids drugs.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in