GSK pushes Olympic anti-doping role

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is launching its first UK consumer-facing corporate brand campaign for the Olympics, which will showcase its anti-doping operations during the Games.

GSK is the official laboratory services provider for London 2012 and its new campaign, created by TBWA\London, aims to highlight its role in helping keeping the Olympic Games clean.

The campaign features British athletes including Phillips Idowu, Beth Tweddle, David Weir, Graham Edmunds and Marlon Devonish across TV and outdoor work, using the strapline, "The crowd is my only drug".

The TV ad breaks tonight (16 July) on ITV, while outdoor ads will appear from Monday 23 July.

GSK’s anti-doping operation, in partnership with King’s College, London, will have a laboratory open 24 hours a day, with a workforce of more than 1,000 people and the aim to test up to 400 samples a day.

GSK said it will test up to 50% of all competing athletes, including every Olympic medallist, with more than 240 prohibited substances being tested for.

The campaign is an unusual one as GSK is the first private company to have responsibility for overseeing drug testing at the Olympics.

Phil Thompson, senior vice president, global communications, GSK, said: "Our contribution to the London 2012 Games, through our partnership with Locog and King’s, is to help ensure that every medal winner can celebrate their athletic achievement in the knowledge they have won through a fair competition.

"Our advertising campaign aims to showcase the hard work, determination and natural ability that is central to each athlete’s performance."

Jonathan Harris, head of anti-doping at the Organising Committee for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said: "The fight against doping within sport continues.

"GSK have been instrumental in providing services to help us deliver the anti-doping programme for the Games and with their help we have a state of the art laboratory with the ability to process a record number of tests during the Olympic and Paralympic Games."

GSK’s involvement in sport has already spread to its consumer brands, announcing in January this year that it was replacing rapper Tinie Tempah with a host of sports stars for its Lucozade Sport brand.

Follow Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith on Twitter @loullamae_es

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