The Pegasus Award for In House Team of the Year

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Launch of AbbVie in the UK


Summary of work

Launching a new company is hugely significant, let alone an $18bn company with a 125-year heritage. This is precisely the enviable position in which the communications team of seven at Abbott UK faced when the global stock exchange announcement was first made in October 2011.

On 2 January 2013, AbbVie was successfully launched as an independent global research-based biopharmaceutical company following its separation from Abbott. During the one-year transition period and up to the day before the launch, the communications team were intrinsically involved in preparing and equipping the company with the tools and strategic guidance as they navigated sensitivities relating to the psychological and emotional attachment of long-serving employees and managing growing media interest.

Weeks before the launch of the company, there was a change in leadership in the UK affiliate with the appointment of a new general manager for AbbVie. This added another dimension as the communications team meticulously worked through the key assets and processes which needed to be mapped out and created to deliver effective internal and external communication strategies.

Judges’ comments

The launch of any new company is both a massive challenge and a major opportunity. In terms of pure heroic grit, determination and tenacity, this is without doubt a team you’d want to hire. Through a cohesive campaign they all met each of the wide range of comms challenges head on.