The deal allows 50-strong Golin Harris to develop a consumer health portfolio by using Packer Forbes' expertise. Golin Harris currently has consumer, technology and corporate divisions in the UK.
The agency already has ethical and consumer healthcare experience in North America and Asia Pacific but none in London and Europe. The alliance will enable the agency to offer a 'global ethical and consumer healthcare service' to clients.
Packer Forbes, on the other hand, has a base of 15 in London but does not have global offices. As part of the alliance the agency will handle the UK and European elements of Golin Harris' ethical global healthcare progra-mmes. Packer Forbes will also work with Golin Harris on consumer health campaigns.
Packer Forbes MD Alexa Forbes said: 'The alliance will allow us to meet the challenges of the complex healthcare market and bring an understanding of increasingly sophisticated consumers.' Packer Forbes works for clients including Pfizer, Schering-Plough and GlaxoSmithKline.
Golin Harris joint MD Jonathan Hughes said initial plans to build a practice in London in 2006, to give sister Interpublic Group agency Weber Shandwick a 'conflict shop', had 'not worked out' (PRWeek, 23 March 2006).