Luther Pendragon has told healthcare clients that it is no longer working with Philip Morris after a number of them questioned its work with the tobacco company.
The agency's work with Philip Morris was thrown into the spotlight by an article in The Lancet, which urged healthcare organizations last week to cut their ties to tobacco companies.
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry also said it had dropped the agency in December after learning it worked with the tobacco company.
“Luther Pendragon has confirmed that they are no longer working with Phillip Morris International,” said Charles Willis, head of public affairs at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. “We are happy with this response and with the work Luther Pendragon have carried out with us. The work that Luther has carried out for their other clients has not conflicted with the joint work between Luther and RPS.”
A spokesperson from the National Pharmacy Association also told PRWeek UK that it understood Luther Pendragon no longer worked for Philip Morris.
Various pharmaceutical bodies were named in a letter to The Lancet from senior healthcare professionals urging healthcare organizations to sever their links with PR companies “that work to promote the interests of the tobacco industry.”
It named a number of healthcare organizations as former clients of Luther Pendragon. However, some of the organizations named, including the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, National Pharmacy Association, and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pharmacy, are clients of the agency.
Luther Pendragon declined to comment, while Philip Morris confirmed the agency was no longer providing consultancy services to it in the UK.
This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.