Hanover Communications

Hanover grew its healthcare fee income by a healthy 23 per cent in 2008, under the leadership of MD Charles Lewington and healthcare director Andrew Harrison. The agency scored new business from Sanofi-Aventis, Schering Plough and AstraZeneca, and also saw success for its long term lobbying campaign on behalf of cholesterol charity Heart UK.

Name of agency: Hanover


Address: 100 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8AL


Telephone: 020 7400 4480


Email: aharrison@hanovercomms.com


Ranking in Healthcare Top 25: 12


% growth in health fee income: 23%


Ranking in Top 150: 65


Healthcare fee income 2008: £1,858,229


Total fee income 2008: £3,265,780 (total revenue £3,397,884)


Total staff 2008: 30


Who is in the hotseat? Charles Lewington, Managing Director

Andrew Harrison, Director of Healthcare


Sum up your agency's 2008 in three words: Independence, Expertise, Delivery


Three best healthcare client or campaign wins: Sanofi-Aventis, Schering-Plough, AstraZeneca


Healthcare highlights of 2008: Launch of the 20th Anniversary celebration of NHS Breast and Cervical Screening with stacks of great media coverage.

Double success for our long term, public health lobbying campaign for HEART UK, the Cholesterol Charity, calling for heart check ups on the NHS (now being rolled out) and for an awareness campaign on the dangers of a high saturated fat diet (now launched by the Food Standards Agency).


Significant hires in the healthcare team in 2008: Significant Hires - Louise Fish, Associate Director, previously Communications Director at NICE

Mark Saxon, Account Director, previously Account Director at Ogilvy (Shire) Health PR


Staffing overall 2008: 30


Plans and predictions for healthcare PR in 2009: This will be a year of major change. Whether pharmaceutical, medical technology, healthcare provider, third sector or NHS, the recession will affect everyone. Cuts in future NHS funding and the renewed drive for quality and productivity bring both opportunities and threats for products and services alike.


Pharmaceuticals and medical technology will be directly affected by the changes to the HTA process from the Kennedy Review into value and the PPRS-led changes to NICE, the implementation of the new DH commercial strategy, and the outcomes of the Office of Life Science initiative looking at uptake and innovation. To compound matters, the second PPRS price cut and exchange rate fluctuations will squeeze UK ROI and put further pressure on prices. This scrutiny of value is one reason why pharma is increasingly teaming up with the NHS in partnerships.


The likely change of government next year will, of course, bring further changes. There has never been a more important time for all those doing business with the NHS to design their communications in close alignment with the policy agenda.


Healthcare business or brand to watch in 2009 and why:  Hanover, of course! But aside from ourselves, keep an eye on Deltex Medical. Their CardioQ medical technology improves outcomes and cuts length of stay for surgical patients, and saves money by improving productivity - it is perfectly aligned with the NHS's own priorities.


How were you affected by the swine flu issue in 2009? If the worse predictions come true, there will be a need for strong PR to communicate important messages to the public and others. This is a time when good communications will come into its own. In addition, it presents a rare opportunity for pharmaceuticals to get real cut-through in understanding of the industry's vital contribution to health and well-being.


How is the recession affecting the healthcare market, in your eyes? The recession will dramatically reshape the NHS and some companies are reshaping their plans as a consequence, but the downturn does not seem to have translated into reductions in agency spend so far. Hanover's pharma business is up significantly in the first two quarters of 2009 and other healthcare sectors are at least holding firm - long may that continue.


We like to think that Hanover's offer of communications infused with policy understanding means we are well placed to help clients in these changing times.


One thing you won't know about the agency: True to our values, the Hanover team has raised over £200,000 so far for research into lymphoma, and in recognition of this, the company was recently awarded the first ever Herald Award by the Guild of PR practitioners.

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