Arun Sudhaman 05 Jun 2014 // 9:28AM GMT
LONDON—GSK is reviewing UK PR duties for its consumer healthcare portfolio, which includes such key brands as Panadol, Aquafresh, Beechams and Horlicks.
The Holmes Report understands that the pharma giant's existing consumer PR roster agencies are involved in the review, which will see pitching take place at the end of the month.
GSK's consumer healthcare division currently works with a number of UK PR firms, including Unity, Red Consultancy, Blue Rubicon and Edelman. Multiple sources told the Holmes Report that GSK is aiming to reduce the number of firms it works with across its consumer products, which together account for a high six-figure PR spend.
The review comes amid a multibillion dollar deal to swap assets with Novartis, which will see the pair combine healthcare assets under the control of GSK. The move is part of an effort to reduce GSK's dependence on drug development, making it the second largest global player in the consumer health category.
Last year, GSK sold soft drink brands Ribena and Lucozade to Japan's Suntory for £1.3bn. The deal leaves GSK with a consumer healthcare range that spans over-the-counter medicines, oral care and nutritional products.
GSK has held several PR reviews in recent years, including a global roster overhaul that completed in early 2013. "We are always reviewing the agencies we work with, but we have no plans to consolidate to one agency," said GSK communications director Iona Maclean.