Biss Lancaster picked for gsk allergy range PR work

Healthcare giant GlaxoSmithKline has appointed Biss Lancaster Euro RSCG to manage medical and consumer PR for its allergy range in 2002.

The agency was invited to take part in a two-way pitch for the OTC portfolio, which includes Piriton, the UK's leading allergy brand, and Beconase, the third highest selling hayfever treatment.

gsk said Biss Lancaster was approached on the strength of its work on its feminine health product Lacacyd Femina last year, as well as project work for gsk during the past five years.

The agency team will report to gsk consumer healthcare marketing manager Sebastian Mullin.

According to Mullin, the decision to appoint Biss Lancaster was taken to protect its 30 per cent market share in the allergy treatments sector.

Biss Lancaster senior consultant Katy Compton-Bishop heads the account.

She said the agency's work would focus on consumer and professional campaigns: 'It's very much about positioning the brands as authorities in a very competitive market and making the products themselves stand out.'

She added that the campaign would be mediabased: 'We want to create great media resources for both the consumer and healthcare sectors.'

Final details of the fees on the account are being confirmed, but it is understood that the budget will reach comfortably into six figures.

In May last year gsk teamed up with internet search engine Yahoo! to launch a text messaging service aimed at giving hayfever sufferers regular localised updates on pollen and pollution risks

Last month gsk Biologicals began the first human trials of its HIV vaccine, NefTat and gp 120. The research will seek to determine whether the vaccine is safe and the human immune system responds to it, following successful tests on monkeys.

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