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Posts Tagged ‘Pfizer’

GlaxoSmithKline to Pay $3 Billion in Largest Healthcare Fraud Settlement in US History

Once again, drug giants are being reminded that the government and the public sort of frown upon pharmaceutical companies doing things like bribing doctors with lavish vacations to get them to prescribe a drug to their patients. And illegally promoting a drug and/or knowingly withholding information about dangerous side effects? Yeah, that’s not okay, either. If previous lawsuits against companies like Pfizer and Eli Lilly didn’t get that point across, the recent settlement with GlaxoSmithKline to the tune of $3 billion just might.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is the largest of the pharmaceutical giants, and has just made the largest settlement of healthcare fraud is U.S.history. The $3 billion settlement included $1 billion for criminal fraud and $2 billion for civil liabilities, to which the company has agreed to plead guilty.

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Companies Enlist ‘Digital Detectives’ for Social Media Programs

At the International Association of Business Communicator‘s (IABC’s) Corporate Communication and Social Media Summit on Friday, presenters from Whirlpool, Sprint, and Pfizer discussed how their companies have used social media in a range of areas, from customer service and new product launches to employee and crisis communications.

Whirlpool has given unique job titles and descriptions to some employees involved in social media, according to Brian Snyder, senior manager of corporate communications. He said, “We took our team of ‘laundryologists’ out of the laboratory and put them on Twitter to address customers’ questions.”

“Whirlpool has also assigned ‘digital detectives’ to help distressed customers,” Snyder added. These sleuths search for comments about Whirlpool’s brands on Internet forums. When they notice customer complaints, they try to find the unhappy consumers and contact them to solve their issues.

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‘Knowledge Partners’ Join Experts on Health Site

ShareCare.com, created by TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz and Jeff Arnold, founder of WebMD (in partnership with Harpo Studios, HSW International, Sony Pictures Television, and Discovery Communications) is an interactive site that promises to gather “collective wisdom” to help visitors live better. To that end, they’ve brought in medical experts and national nonprofits like AARP and the American Red Cross and companies, a.k.a. “knowledge partners,” like Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive.

Marketers participating on the site are paying between $1 million and $7 million and will have their logos and names attached to their advice. Paul Ewing, a senior director for patient marketing at Pfizer, another “knowledge partner,” told the New York Times that they won’t answer questions around the products the company offers. Still, it sounds like this site will serve as a means for the participating companies to build reputations as wellness experts while telling people to take their advice with a grain of salt.

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Edelman Launches Integrated Marketing Unit

Today, Edelman launched an integrated marketing unit that offers graphic design services, direct consumer advertising, event production and mobile marketing, and other branding and marketing services.

Called Ruth: Edelman Integrated Marketing (in honor of Ruth Edelman), the unit currently has 70 staffers and work will span across consumer, health, technology, and service industries. Talent for the new unit consists of in-house specialists as well as others selected from across the branding, advertising, and marketing industries. Ruth will work with existing Edelman clients and partner with new clients and companies. Clients include eBay, Pfizer, Samsung, and Starbucks. Offices are located in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle, and Chicago.

Ruth is the latest addition to Edelman’s list of specialty firms including MATTER, focused on sports and entertainment marketing and StrategyOne, Edelman’s research services business.

Former Pfizer Director Joins APCO

apco.jpg.bmpFrancesca Tedesco, former public affairs director at Pfizer, has joined APCO’s healthcare team as VP in the Washington D.C. office.

In a press release comment, APCO MD Robert Schooling said Tedesco’s addition builds on the firm’s capabilities in vaccines and other areas of biologics.

While at Pfizer, Tedesco developed public affairs strategy for a variety of product teams and oncology and oversaw product marketing implementation.

Pfizer’s Kerins Defends Company’s Seminar Sponsorship

Pfizer_5.25.jpgThis October, the National Press Foundation is hosting a four-day seminar in Washington D.C. titled “Cancer Issues 2010.” According to the NPR Health blog Shots, 15 reporters will also be taking an all-expense-paid trip to the nation’s capital to attend the conference, care of drug company Pfizer.

Heath journalism blogger Gary Schwitzer questions whether these reporters can be fair in their coverage when they’re attending the event on Pfizer’s dime.

Ray Kerins, Pfizer’s VP of comms, says their participation is fully disclosed and meant to improve coverage of the topic.

“We can complain about journalists not understanding the scientific research, or we can be part of the solution,” he told NPR’s reporter.