The first agency to work on the brief for three years, Tonic Life will focus on Europe, although MD Oliver Parsons says he is waiting to hear whether the agency will also be called on to support the brands in the US. ‘We may well add to the team in that case,' he said.
Parsons currently leads a team of five on the account, including senior account director Louise Collins and account director Matthew Kent.
Professional relations, patient advocacy and medical and consumer media relations are to be the thrust of comms activity, with one of the most pressing jobs being to restore trust in HRT drugs after a series of health scares. In 2003, study findings published in The Lancet highlighted a link between HRT and an increased risk of breast cancer.
Tonic Life: Louise Collins & Matthew Kent to lead Novo account
Comms activity will focus on changes in scientific understanding of HRT and the importance of low dosage treatment, such as Novo Nordisk's Activella, which is to be launched in the US later this year and in Europe during 2008.
Parsons reports to Zurich-based senior comms manager Ina Reinecke, who said that the long gap before hiring Tonic was caused by cuts in comms budgets. ‘The HRT business was not doing well. But now we think the time is right,' she said.