Packer Forbes calls in former GSK boss

Packer Forbes has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of a former GlaxoSmithKline PR director.

Anna Gibbins joined the agency this week as deputy MD, reporting to MD and founder Alexa Forbes. Gibbins replaces Pam Bourne, who has left the agency after more than three years to return to her native New Zealand.

Gibbins joins Packer Forbes after a period spent freelancing. She will work alongside Forbes providing strategic support to the agency's account teams and will also be involved in generating new business at the agency.

'I worked agency-side when I started in PR,' said Gibbins. 'I have worked with Alexa before and this provided a great opportunity to get back into the agency world.'

Gibbins spent more than two years in the global research and development comms team at GSK as a PR director for its respiratory franchise, having joined in 2005.

Her key responsibilities included launching an allergic rhinitis medication, following roles in-house at several drug companies.

Before joining GSK, Gibbins also worked at rival pharma firm Pfizer as product PR manager for its neurosciences business.

She also took on the PR responsibility for its cardiovascular business, where she worked on the company's largest brand, cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor.

Since 2008 she has been working as a freelance consultant. During that time she has undertaken an employee engagement programme for the speciality sales team at drug firm AstraZeneca.

Packer Forbes launched a partnership with consumer agency GolinHarris last year (PRWeek, 20 March 2008).

The deal allowed 50-strong GolinHarris to develop a consumer health portfolio by using Packer Forbes' expertise.

As part of the alliance, Packer Forbes will handle the UK and European elements of GolinHarris' ethical global healthcare programmes. Packer Forbes will also work with GolinHarris on consumer health campaigns.

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