GlaxoSmithKline Taps WPP for Global Branding Effort

Grey London and The Brand Union Will Lead Push

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GlaxoSmithKline has appointed a WPP Team, lead by Grey London, to handle a new global corporate branding and communications brief aimed at demonstrating the power of GSK's impact around the world.

The work, expected to break in spring 2013, will develop and leverage a point of view for GSK that encompasses all aspects of the global health-care company's portfolio, including consumer products, pharmaceuticals and vaccines.

Grey London will work with fellow WPP agency the Brand Union on the business. John Rudaizky, formerly CEO of WPP's Team Vodafone, is CEO of Team GSK, responsible for leading and coordinating the ongoing assignment. The team won against Omnicom Group's TBWA in the final round of pitches, having first eliminated fellow WPP agencies CHI and Ogilvy & Mather.

Team GSK's win over Omnicom comes only a day after a WPP team beat Omnicom on another global pitch, this time for for Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

GSK is proud of its work to combat malaria and is on the brink of a cure, and this is thought to have been a factor in the decision to develop a corporate campaign. The company's consumer brands including Panadol, Lucozade, Solpadeine, Corsidol, Macleans, Horlicks, Nitol, Beechams, Aquafresh and Sensodyne.

Based in London, GSK is thought to have created a tagline with Team GSK that sums up its intentions and activity across all its various activities, brands and products around the world.

GSK confirmed the move but declined further comment. WPP issued a statement saying, "Following a corporate review process led by GSK, WPP has established Team GSK to work with GSK to develop and leverage the brand across its entire portfolio. A number of WPP companies have contributed to this effort and will work over time on this assignment."

GSK spent $31.3 million to secure the rights to be the official laboratory services provider at the Olympics in London this summer, running what it claimed was the biggest anti-doping operation in the history of the Olympic Games. TBWA London developed a campaign around this work with the theme "The crowd is my only drug" to raise awareness of its role in anti-doping measures at the games.

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