In 1991, the largest healthcare company in Nigeria changed its name from Beecham Plc to Smithkline Beeham Nigeria Plc. The change was significant because it led to the creation of a new pharmaceutical division within Smithkline Beecham to market and subsequently, manufacture quality ethical pharmaceutical brands under licence from Smithkline Beeham Plc (the world's fourth largest pharmaceutical company). The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) prohibits media advertising for ethical products. However Client was desirous of using the occassion of the change of name, to project its new range of ethical products. The challenge before ATL was therefore to use the opportunity of the name change to create awareness for the newly acquired range of ethical products. We proposed a press only advertising campaign strategy as the most effective route against the target audience of doctors, pharmacists, medicals retailers shareholders etc. In addition, we evolved and implemented The "Smithkline Beeham (SB) Health Page" in the quality press. Primarily, the SB Health Page provided detailed information weekly on various health problems including malaria, worms and other common health conditions and highlighted the appropriateness of SB's drugs (such as Halfan, an anti-malaria which is effective against chloroquine resistant strains; zental, an ant-worms product effective againts worms in all its forms etc) for their treatment.
The effort also included a press advertising campaign with copy strategy focused on the benefits of the new company to consumers who now had access to advanced drugs particularly suitable for Nigeria; extensive sales and distribution network facilitating access to quality consumer and ethical brands throughout Nigeria. The copy communicated the synergies in consumer and ethical brands under the umbrella of Smithkline Beeham Nigeria Plc. For shareholders, the ads highlighted the potentialsfor enhancing the value of their stocks due to improved returns expected from greater efficiency in the company's operations. The two-tier public relations and press advertising campaign were highly effective in establishing the company's new name and logo; creating awareness for the new ethical products among medical detailers, pharmacists, consumers etc; indeed the Agency's effort on this project, was successful that it was commended by the shareholders at the SB annual general meeting that year.