The pharmaceutical firm has also given a smaller chunk of public affairs work to Political Intelligence. Novartis previously dealt only with Political Intelligence.
The new agency arrangements are part of a wider public affairs drive by the company. It comes weeks after Novartis hired Henry Burkitt to the new post of UK head of government affairs and policy (PRWeek, 23 January).
Novartis is also understood to be creating a new government affairs manager role, which it has yet to fill. Sources involved in the recent pitch process suggested the public affairs overhaul was partly an attempt to prepare for a Tory government.
Lexington won the beefed- up public affairs brief after a keenly fought four-way pitch. Mike Craven’s agency will advise Novartis’ general medicine division, as well as taking on the group company and corporate government affairs brief. The account will be led by Lexington’s head of health Sarah Doyle.
Political Intelligence has retained Novartis’ oncology portfolio, on which it has worked since 2007.
Lexington’s win helps to cement its reputation as a leading healthcare public affairs agency.
Hanover Communications, Weber Shandwick and Insight Public Affairs are also seen as having particularly strong healthcare credentials.