Pfizer seeks firm for CSR work amid consolidations

NEW YORK: Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is searching for a firm to help it with corporate social responsibility initiatives, according to several agencies familiar with the RFP process.

NEW YORK: Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is searching for a firm to help it with corporate social responsibility initiatives, according to several agencies familiar with the RFP process.

The impetus of the search is the New York-based company's evolving business focus, according to one person familiar with the process.

Just this year, Pfizer sold its baby formula business to Nestle and spun off its animal health unit as it seeks to focus on its core pharmaceutical work.

A Pfizer representative confirmed the RFP but declined to give further details.

Pfizer is conducting the search as it is consolidating its marketing accounts within the WPP, Omnicom, and Publicis holding companies. A Pfizer representative said this will also include its PR business.

“As a result of the assessment of marketing support, Pfizer has decided to consolidate its marketing activity into three holding companies,” said Joan Campion, senior director in charge of corporate and financial media relations.

A source who works with Pfizer said the company wants a more integrated approach to its communications projects, including the use of digital, and it may try to get the services at a bundled rate.

It is unclear if Pfizer's decision to limit its work to the three holding companies will mean firms not owned by those entities, but that work on projects, will be let go. A source at one independent agency said it has not been notified of any changes.

Over the last three years, Edelman, Ruder Finn, and SS+K are among the firms that have won work with Pfizer. In August, it hired JeffreyGroup to conduct a public health initiative across Latin America.

The pharmaceutical company also restructured its internal communications department this spring.

Pfizer will report its third-quarter 2012 earnings on October 30. In the second quarter, its net income grew by more than 25% due to lower production and marketing costs, and restructuring.

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