The unusual move – described as 'temporary' – coincides with news that GCI vice-president of health Europe Dan Beach left the firm last week. PRWeek was unable to contact Beach but he is believed to have a new job lined up.
The relocation of GCI UK healthcare MD Rhonda Smith, and all staff in her division, from GCI's New Bridge Street HQ to C&W's building in the West End is the latest episode in what the agencies have previously referred to as an 'alignment' of their respective operations.
Jonathan Shore, UK MD of C&W – and, since last October, also overseeing GCI UK as boss of a holding company set up to straddle the two agencies globally – maintained this week that a merger was not on the cards.
It is believed that GCI UK's healthcare team is now fewer than seven-strong, down from a peak of more than 20 staff around the turn of the millennium.
They are now working alongside C&W's UK healthcare team, run by joint managing directors Jeremy Clark and Jacinta Collins, and which is believed to be around 35-strong.
Collins said: 'Jonathan and Rhonda remain committed to turning GCI Healthcare around and getting it back on its feet. This is a temporary incubation period, for want of a better word, for GCI Healthcare – there are no plans to work on clients together.'
GCI UK clients are believed to include Shire Pharmaceuticals (on Alzheimer's drug Reminyl, see At A Glance opposite), Merck Sharp & Dohme, Medtronic and homeopathic remedy specialist Nelsonbach.
GCI's UK healthcare practice was founded a decade ago by Catherine Warne, who left – along with Julia Harries (née Tollis) – in 2000 to co-found Red Door Communications.
Shore added: 'I am relentlessly hiring for GCI, both in front-office and back-office teams.'