UCB picks Athena for Zirtek UK push

LONDON - UCB Pharma is preparing to launch a UK PR campaign for its allergy brand Zirtek.

The drugs firm has appointed Athena Medical PR to handle the campaign, which will aim to boost consumer awareness of the brand as it battles to differentiate itself in the increasingly crowded OTC hayfever treatment market.

Zirtek was formerly promoted by Junction 11.

Athena is also handling the UK-specific account for Xyzal, UCB’s prescription-only medicine for allergies, for which the agency was brought in to handle international PR just three months ago (PRWeek, 16 January).

The agency is working on a two-year campaign targeting hospital and community-based healthcare practitioners.

Xyzal launched in the UK last year where, prior to Athena’s appointment, it was promoted by Ketchum.

Athena account director Natalie Bennett, who joined the agency last month from Vitabiotics, where she was PR manager, leads the Zirtek team. Senior account director Anna Siraj leads the Xyzal account.

* Athena has also launched a PR push for BPL (Bio Products Laboratory), a unit of the National Blood Authority.

The agency is working alongside BPL’s retained health policy agency Strategen on the upcoming launch of a product for primary immunodeficiency.

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