Ogilvy expands work for Pfizer

The WPP agency added a vaccine awaiting regulatory approval, Centrum and work in emerging markets to its responsibilities for the pharmaceutical company.

NEW YORK: Ogilvy has expanded its range of duties for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

The WPP agency won PR responsibilities for a Clostridioides difficile vaccine that is in a phase 3 clinical trial, PR and social media for multivitamin brand Centrum and narrative work in emerging markets.

The accounts were won through reviews issued at a "machine gun" rate in recent months, said Kate Cronin, MD and head of Ogilvy’s health and wellness practice in the U.S.

"Pfizer has been issuing a lot of RFPs lately because the business was evolving," Cronin said. "These were pretty much happening one after the other."

Cronin declined to disclose the budgets of Ogilvy’s wins, the size of the account teams or the markets to which Pfizer’s work is expanding. She highlighted Ogilvy’s three "Pfizer leaders": relationship manager Shannon Walsh, SVP Michael DiSalvo for Chantix and Champix and SVP Cheryl O’Brien for vaccines.

Ogilvy handles PR work for other vaccines, including pneumococcal conjugate vaccine Prevnar 13, the trade name of the drug in the U.S., Canada and Taiwan; Prevenar 13 outside the U.S.; and meningococcal group B vaccine Trumenba, according to Cronin. Ogilvy also handles an integrated account for varenicline, a smoking cessation treatment. The drug is marketed as Chantix in the U.S. and Champix in the rest of the world.

"We’re pretty excited that we’re continuing to grow our relationship with [Pfizer]," Cronin said. "We also have a 15-year relationship with Bristol-Myers Squibb. The fact we’re a creative network and we’re global and we’ve got expertise across health and wellness has served us quite well with these long-standing relationships."

Ogilvy pitched for the business with integrated teams, reflecting its decision to collapse the network’s groups into a single entity.

"Traditional PR and media relations as it stands is a quarter of our business," said Cronin. "But I think if you go into an elevator for a PR pitch and everyone in the room is a PR person, you’re going to be challenged because clients want a more integrated approach, whether they’re comms or marketing."

Previously, Ogilvy served as PR AOR for arthritis drugs Celebrex and Bextra.

In addition, Ogilvy won PR and social business for Inova Health System, a network of healthcare services in the Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. region. The agency is working for Inova’s trauma center, urgent care center and pediatric emergency department. Its scope of work includes building out the medical center’s narrative.

Pfizer declined to comment.

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