GSK calls ‘winner takes all’ global pitch for Panadol

Pharmaceutical powerhouse GlaxoSmithKline has called a global pitch for one agency to handle the creative, digital and public relations accounts for its Panadol brand, Mumbrella can reveal.

The brand, which is run from GSK’s massive Singapore headquarters, has called a ‘winner takes all’ review, putting its current roster of agencies on uncertain footing, according to various sources.

Currently, the painkiller’s creative duties are handled by Grey, while digital and PR are overseen by Havas and Edelman respectively.

Both Havas and WPP are understood to be re-pitching for the consolidated account, while agencies from Publicis Groupe are also said to be throwing their hats in the ring.

The latest review comes in addition to GSK’s recently announced global media pitch, which has put MediaCom and PHD on alert in Europe and the US respectively. In Asia-Pacific, Mindshare handles GSK’s media account.

According to AdAge, GSK spent about US$1.7 billion on advertising in 2017. Its major brands include Panadol, Sensodyne and Voltaren.

It has only been two years since GSK’s marketing team completed its last major agency overhaul, when it consolidated all its accounts with nine agencies.

These included Grey, Saatchi & Saatchi and Weber Shandwick for creative, WPP Digital, Havas and Weber Shandwick on digital and Edelman and Weber Shandwick handling PR.

GSK has recently invested heavily in Asia with the opening of its regional headquarters in Singapore last year. 

The mammoth HQ houses Panadol’s marketing team under the leadership of global marketing manager Sud Sandhya.

GSK has been contacted for comment.


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