Novartis names first global communications exec

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GENEVA -- Novartis Consumer Health, the over- the-counter drugs arm formed after last year's merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz, has named Chris King as its first director of international communications and public relations. He joins from DHL Worldwide Express, where he was head of communications for Europe and Africa.

Novartis has tasked King with applying his international marketing experience to raising the profile of the unit's brands which include Nicotinell, Savlon and Maalox.

"With more and more pharmaceutical products becoming available over the counter, branding has become much more important in consumer health," says King. "My job will therefore involve promoting and sharing best practice, developing the concept of interaction with the consumer, and taking a broad strategic role on internal and external communications abilities."

As head of communications for DHL Europe since 1993, King was responsible for creating, implementing and coordinating a brand communications program for more than 100 countries. Previously, he was marketing director for DHL in the U.K. Currently based in Brussels, King will move to Geneva.

Novartis is the world's second largest pharmaceuticals company and the seventh biggest consumer health care company. The group's main ad agencies in Europe are TBWA and Grey.

Copyright June 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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