SmithKline Beecham strengthens global OTC marketing

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LONDON -- SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare, the over-the-counter division of pharmaceuticals firm SKB, has created two new global marketing posts. One is in response to the company's growing analgesics business; the other is to develop its vitamins and herbal remedies in new markets around the world.

Erla Rapsch, previously international marketing manager for OTC in Germany, has been drafted in as worldwide category management director for vitamins and naturals (herbal remedies), outside of Germany.

Germany is far and away SKB's biggest market for these products, many of which have little or no presence in other markets. Rapsch played a "key role" in Germany (where vitamins are a $741m market), with responsibility for such brands as Cetebe (a vitamin C supplement), Eunova (multi-vitamins) and Linusit (natural laxative), a SKBCH spokeswoman says. She is now one of four at the worldwide category management in the same department, though responsibilities are split between vitamins and naturals and dermatological products.

In the second appointment, Ranjan Chaudhuri, formerly sales and marketing director in Sri Lanka, is made worldwide category management director for analgesics, joining two others in the same role. His recruitment is due to rising levels of business, the company says.

Both Chaudhuri and Rapsch took up their positions this week at SKBCH's global marketing headquarters in Brentford, Middlesex in the U.K. Chaudhuri joined SKB in India in 1986, moving to Sri Lanka in 1993, initially as business development manager. Rapsch, a South African/German, has worked in South Africa and Germany in her 11 years with the company.She would not say which countries the company is now planning to target with its vitamins and naturals.

Copyright September 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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