Haleon advertising & marketing assignments

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Haleon is the new name for the consumer healthcare division of GlaxoSmithKline, demerged as a separate company in 2022. It was already the global #1 in its field in 2019 but got bigger still following the takeover of the rival division within Pfizer. Currently, the combined business is majority controlled by GlaxoSmithKline, with Pfizer as minority partner. That deal mirrors a previous partnership with Novartis, whose consumer healthcare division was bought out by GSK in 2018. However, GSK plans to spin out the business as an independent company mid-2022 under the new name Haleon. GlaxoSmithKline will retain a 20% shareholding. Divisional performance received a significant lift in 2020 from higher levels of purchasing as a result of the Covid pandemic, topping £10bn for the first time, but then slipped back in 2021 to £9.6bn. Operating profits were £2.2bn. GSK Consumer Healthcare is a major force in several key healthcare segments. Its biggest business is oral care, ranking #3 globally and #2 in several key markets with brands including Sensodyne, Aquafresh, Parodontax, Poligrip, Biotene and Corsodyl. Oral care generated revenues of £2.7bn in 2021, including well over £1bn from Sensodyne alone. Respiratory brands also feature large in the group portfolio, including cold & flu treatments Theraflu and Beecham's, decongestants Contac, Robitussin and Otrivin and the Flonase allergy range. Combined sales were £1.1bn. Pain relief brands include Advil, Panadol, Voltaren/Voltarol, Excedrin and China's Fenbid, with combined sales of almost £2.3bn. There is also a new powerhouse business in minerals, vitamins & supplements - including Centrum, Caltrate and Emergen-C - with sales of £1.5bn. The portfolio also houses a large collection of other brands. Medicated skincare products include Lamisil, Abreva, Zovirax and Savlon. In the smoking cessation segment, GSK markets Nicorette and Nicotroll, while digestive heath brand Tums is an important regional brand in the US. GlaxoSmithKline was also until recently the UK's #3 manufacturer of soft drinks, with brands including Lucozade and Ribena. Those brands were sold in 2013 to Suntory of Japan. At the end of 2018 a deal was agreed to sell malt-based hot drink Horlicks, which has a huge following in India, to Unilever for €4.6bn. Brian McNamara, previously head of Novartis OTC, became CEO of GSK Consumer Healthcare following the promotion of Emma Walmsley to group CEO.

Capsule checked 26th February 2021

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Which agencies handle advertising for GlaxoSmithKline? Find out more from the Account Assignments database

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Key decisionmakers at GSK? Find out more from the Account Assignments database

Historical profile information for GlaxoSmithKline

Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Update 23rd Feb 2022: GlaxoSmithKline has unveiled the brand identity of its soon-to-be-separated consumer healthcare spin-off. The demerged entity will be named Haleon, "inspired by the words 'Hale', which is an old English word that means 'in good health' and Leon, which is associated with the word 'strength'." The split is expected mid-2022, with GSK expected to spin off at least 80% of the equity in the business to its existing shareholders.

Adbrands Update 20th Jan 2022: Just a few days after news was revealed of its multiple approaches to GSK Consumer Health, Unilever said that it will make no further increases to its existing offer, effectively ending its pursuit. That follows growing opposition from institutional investors to the proposed takeover. Many investors said they would vote against the deal, and Unilever's share price sank by more than 10% after news of the offer became public.

Adbrands Update 17th Jan 2022: It was revealed that Unilever has been negotiating for several months to acquire Glaxo SmithKline's soon to be demerged consumer health business. Three successive cash and shares offers, the last valued at £50bn, have been rejected by the GSK Consumer Health board on grounds that they "fundamentally undervalue" the business. Analysts value GSK Consumer at between £42bn and £48bn, but GSK is understood to be asking for an additional premium on that estimate. This could lift the required sum to as much as £55bn. Talks continue, though Unilever has warned that "there can be no certainty that any agreement will be reached". The group also issued an investor update that says it has determined that its "future strategic direction lies in materially expanding its presence in Health, Beauty, and Hygiene". There was no mention of the shrinking food and refreshment division, leading to heightened speculation that this business will be divested, especially if cash is required to fund a takeover of GSK Consumer Health. However, analysts and investors were generally unimpressed by news of Unilever's bid for GSK, with many voicing doubts that this would be a wise move.

Marketer Moves 20th Dec 2021: Chairman appointed at GSK Consumer Health. See Marketer Moves (members only).

Marketer Moves 7th May 2021: New global head of media at GSK Consumer Health. See Marketer Moves (members only).

Adbrands Daily Update 26th Jun 2019: GlaxoSmithKline began restructuring its consumer healthcare marketing team ahead of the impending merger with Pfizer's equivalent division. According to trade media outlet The Drum, Carlton Lawson, head of global categories and chief marketing officer, is leaving the group to be succeeded by EMEA head Tamara Rogers. She is supported by four newly appointed global sector marketing heads: Jayant Singh (oral care), Theresa Agnew (pain relief), Jonathan Girling (cold & flu) and Rick Sheppard (general wellness). A separate department will take charge of content, PR, media and operations under the heading of marketing edge. Meredith Herman was named as head of marketing edge.

Adbrands Daily Update 19th Dec 2018: It's never too late in the year for a game-changing deal. GlaxoSmithKline will become the biggest player by far in global OTC medicines after agreeing to take control of Pfizer's equivalent business in an arrangement that mirrors GSK's previous partnership with Novartis, which it now wholly owns. A new joint venture is to be created, with ownership split 68/32% between GSK and Pfizer, combine both companies' OTC products. Pfizer had been investigating options for divesting its own consumer health division for some time. An auction earlier this year failed to solicit suitable offers. GSK CEO Emma Walmsley said she intends to spin off the resulting business before 2022 as an entirely separate entity, leaving GlaxoSmithKline itself as a dedicated prescription pharmaceutical and vaccines developer. Following completion, the new business will have sales of around $12.7bn.

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