Healthcare: Shire in agency talks over Solaraze brand

Shire Pharmaceuticals is reviewing its UK PR strategy for Solaraze, its gel treatment for a skin condition related to excessive exposure to the sun.

PRWeek understands that at least six agencies have held discussions with Shire over promotional plans for the brand next year. Solaraze treats what is known as actinic keratosis - a pre-cursor to skin cancer.

The product is currently promoted by Resolute Communications, one of the agencies that has presented plans to Shire for the brief.

The agency's Solaraze work won an award in the ethical healthcare category at last year's PRWeek Awards. Resolute's campaign - promoted via posters with the slogan 'Do you have sun damaged skin?' - involved tactics such as organising a 'SolarCraze Beach Patrol' at a photocall event on Brighton beach.

Paul Blackburn, founding partner and joint MD at Resolute, which has promoted the brand for three years, confirmed the agency had presented its plans for 2006, adding: 'We are very proud of our work on Solaraze and stand by it.'

Confirming the review, Shire said it plans to confirm the 2006 agency within two months.

Solaraze launched in the UK in mid-2001. Around ten to 26 per cent of adults are estimated to have actinic keratosis in countries such as the UK, although in Australia - where sunlight levels are unusually high - the figure is at around 50 per cent of adults aged over 40.

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