B-M retains grip on GSK account

Burson-Marsteller has retained its hold on GlaxoSmithKline’s global respiratory brief, having seen off three undisclosed agencies after its account was put up for competitive pitch.

GSK confirmed this week that it had opted to keep the business – which centres on handling worldwide PR for flagship brand Advair (known in Europe as Seretide) – with B-M, which will service the account via its sister agency Communique from London.

The motivation behind the review (PRWeek, 6 January) remains unknown.

The pitch was overseen by GSK staff including Anna Gibbins, who joined as global PR director in the firm's global commercial strategy
division late last year.

The US Food and Drug Administration last year urged doctors to restrict prescription of Advair and asked that stronger warnings be added to packaging. GSK disagrees with the FDA's view that the asthma medicine increases the chance of deadly complications.

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