At a glance: Firms gear up to promote anti-superbug products

Is MRSA in the news again?

Well, a company attempting to combat it is. Just last week AIM-listed Manchester disinfectant company Byotrol was cleared to sell its anti-MRSA cleaner in the US and Europe - sparking national media interest. McCann-Erickson is in charge of the UK account.

Do you mean just for advertising?
No, for PR as well. Jim Rothnie, PR development director at McCann-Erickson's Manchester office, is account director. He reports to Byotrol co-founder and deputy chairman Stephen Falder. The agency worked on the account pre-float, and is now concentrating on investor relations and trade media relations.

What's so great about the product?
The company says the product - which shares the company's name - puts a microscopic coating onto surfaces, making it hard for bacteria to attach.

What other anti-MRSA cleaning agents are out there?
Well, HSD Communications is handling med ed and PR for Mölnlycke Health Care's anti-bacterial product, Hibiscrub, for example. 

Leslie Ash also has a new product, I seem to remember…
Yes, the actress, who contracted MRSA in hospital, was involved in the development of the Matron hand-cleanser brand, launched by KWL.

Any others involved in PR activity?
Starfish Communications had been handling project work on Pasante Healthcare's MRSA-busting hand-sanitiser, Safe Hands, but the company has no current agency on it.

Aren't there some weird and wonderful products out there?
Suggested anti-MRSA agents include wallaby milk, linoleum, pine forest fungus and Scottish seaweed. And, of course, pyjamas made out of silver.

You are joking?
Not at all. Each pair contains silver in the thread, which apparently stops germs mutating.

Remind me what MRSA stands for?
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. You can see why ‘MRSA' caught on.

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