GSW catches Tamiflu consumer work

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Roche named GSW Worldwide agency of record for Tamiflu DTC work, following a multi-agency pitch involving FCB, Kaplan-Thaler Group, Digitas and Avenue A|Razorfish.

Under the agreement, the inVentiv agency will take the lead on all consumer advertising and promotion, including strategic planning, media planning and placement, and direct marketing.
The brand has not had a consumer agency of record for several years, though Y&R has performed some consumer work on the account on a project basis. Sudler & Hennessey handles professional advertising and promotion for the antiviral drug, and media planning and buying has been awarded to PHD.

Last month, George Abercrombie, CEO of Roche's Hoffman-LaRoche, said rather than relying on governments, companies should stockpile enough vaccines and drugs to protect at least a quarter of their workers from the avian flu. “Stockpiling is necessary,” said Abercrombie. “We can't flip a switch to produce massive amounts of Tamiflu during a pandemic.”

Tamiflu was co-developed by Roche and Gilead Sciences and is indicated for the treatment of uncomplicated influenza caused by virus types A and B, but has seen a boom of interest since emerging as a potential treatment for avian flu. In May, World Health Organization asked Roche to be ready to ship its stockpile of Tamiflu to Indonesia amid an avian flu outbreak there, and the WHO deployed its own 9,500-dose stockpile of the drug from to blunt the crisis.

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