Lekadol® plus C campaign receives EFFIE Gold Medal

22. 1. 2009

At the 4th annual EFFIE Slovenian Communications Festival, Lek, a Sandoz company, won a gold medal in the Other Consumer Products category for its advertising campaign “Lekadol plus C, stomach friendly, heart friendly, with lots of vitamin C.” A total of eight awards were presented. “This award means a lot to us, since it proves that we chose the right creative, communications and media strategy,” said Irena Lukančič and Suzana Novak, who are together responsible for this success.

The Effie Awards for effective communications, which the Slovenian Advertising Chamber presents every other year, were presented for the fourth time on Thursday, January 22 in Ljubljana. Effie awards are presented in 38 countries. Therefore everyone is aware that they are the most important awards in the world in their field. Golden Effies were received this year for three communications marketing campaigns, with three silvers and two bronzes also being awarded. The “Lekadol plus C, stomach friendly, heart friendly, with lots of vitamin C” campaign, submitted by the Original advertising agency, received a gold medal. The other two Effie gold medals went to Radenska for Radenska Naturelle and to Simobil for their “We are all a little Ortho” campaign.

“In our advertising campaign for Lekadol plus C, in the category of flu and cold medicines, we wanted to use the mass media to increase sales income in two years, increase our market share and increase recognition of Lekadol plus C as a safe flu and cold medicine, not just for the stomach but also for the heart. In addition, the campaign was designed to make Lekadol plus C a “family” medicine upon the first symptoms of flu or cold. Due to the very strong competitive environment, we decided on a concept in which we clearly emphasize the competitive advantages of Lekadol plus C. The slogan “stomach friendly, heart friendly, with lots of vitamin C “helped Lekadol plus C reach its objectives,” said Irena Lukančič, head of the Lekadol brand. “We wanted to position ourselves differently from the competing products and put something fresh, creatively powerful and unique into the communications; something which could only mean Lekadol plus C.”

Suzana Novak, Head of Market Communications at Lek’s OTC unit said: “The Effie award is the only award in Slovenia which is conferred for effective communications. This means that through a correct assessment of market opportunities and the correct choice of a creative, communications and media strategy, we have surpassed our objectives. The gold medal for the Lekadol plus C campaign means a great deal to us, since we have received a confirmation that the solution we chose was the right one. The Golden Effie is further proof that we are achieving exceptional results in the highly competitive environment of flu and cold medicines, and that the communication of the message of Lekadol plus C as a safe and effective flu and cold medicine is successful.”

Campaigns which ran from September 1, 2006 and August 31, 2008 were eligible for Effie 2008 awards. The first panel selected 13 finalists from among the record number of 27 campaigns, and the second panel chose the eight most effective marketing campaigns from among them. On the basis of clearly defined international criteria, the expert panels in their judging focused primarily on methodology, strategy, creativity and results, from the communications, marketing and business aspects.

About Lekadol plus C
The Lekadol brand has been present on the Slovene market since 1992. In 2000 the Lekadol brand was expanded from tablets and syrups to include Lekadol plus C. Lekadol plus C is an OTC medicine in the form of granules for the preparation of a warm drink, and is intended to ease flu and cold symptoms. The granules contain the active ingredient paracetamol, which is a pain reliever for headaches, muscle and joint pains and sore throat, and lowers body temperature, and vitamin C, which increases the body’s resistance capacity. The medicine is available in two sizes, with packages of 10 or 20 bags (launched in January 2008).

Successful brands
Lek, a Sandoz company, has received numerous advertising awards:
2002 Lek receives a silver medal for effective advertising for the Lekadol plus C campaign at the first Slovene effective communications festival (EFFIE)
2004 Lek receives a bronze EFFIE for the campaign “Angal , double relief for sore throat”
2007 Lek receives a Superbrand award in the Russian Federation for Immunal and Persen
2007 Lek receives a Trusted Brand award in Slovenia for the Lekadol brand in two categories: pain relief tablets and flu and cold tablets
2007 Lek receives a Superbrand award in Slovenia for Lek and Persen
2008 Lek receives a Trusted Brand award in Slovenia for the Lekadol brand in two categories: pain relief tablets and flu and cold tablets
2008 Lek receives a Superbrand award in Slovenia for Lekadol and Persen

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Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of the pillars of leading world generics company Sandoz. It operates as a global development center for products and technologies, as a global manufacturing center for active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines, as a competence center for the development of vertically integrated products, as a Sandoz competence center in the field of development and manufacturing of biopharmaceutical products and as a supply center for the markets of CEE, SEE and CIS, sales Slovenia and sales services for Sandoz’s global markets. Lek d.d. employs about 2,820 people and achieved total sales of USD 904 million in 2006. For further information please consult http://www.lek.si

Sandoz, a Division of the Novartis group, is a global leader in the field of generic pharmaceuticals, offering a wide array of high-quality, affordable products that are no longer protected by patents. Sandoz has a portfolio of more than 840 active substances in over 5 000 forms worldwide. Key product groups include antibiotics, treatments for central nervous system disorders, gastrointestinal medicines, cardiovascular treatments and hormone therapies. Sandoz develops, produces and markets these drugs along with pharmaceutical and biotechnological active substances and anti-infectives. In addition to the strong organic growth in recent years, Sandoz has made a series of acquisitions including Lek (Slovenia), Sabex (Canada), Hexal (Germany) and EonLabs (U.S.) and sells its products in more than 110 countries. In 2006, Sandoz employed around 21,000 people worldwide and posted sales of USD 6 billion.

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) is a world leader in offering medicines to protect health, cure disease and improve well-being. Our goal is to discover, develop and successfully market innovative products to treat patients, ease suffering and enhance the quality of life. Novartis is the only company with leadership positions in both patented and generic pharmaceuticals. We are strengthening our medicine-based portfolio, which is focused on strategic growth platforms in innovation-driven pharmaceuticals, high-quality and low-cost generics and leading self-medication OTC brands. In 2006, the Group’s businesses achieved net sales of USD 37.0 billion and net income of USD 7.2 billion. Approximately USD 5.4 billion was invested in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 101,000 people and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.

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This press release contains statements and conclusions based on projections of Lek’s future business operations. These estimates are derived from the best information currently available. In case these forecasts prove unreliable, the actual results could prove different from those projected.

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For further information contact:

Katarina Klemenc Dinjaški

Corporate Communications

Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.

Phone: + 386 1 580 22 43

Fax: + 386 1 580 24 32