How Haleon meets pharma advertising regulations

Overcoming advertising and compliance challenges in the pharma industry.
Brand awareness and consideration campaigns using VAST video technology.
Exceeded by 58.38%
Exceeded by 44.85%
We had made continuous improvements, but I wanted to find a way to avoid the need for writing one-time-use-only reports altogether and make it easier to take data and use it to generate new insights. That was part of what was so attractive about Qarma’s value proposition.
Ben Baker, Vice President of Global Sourcing

How Haleon meets pharma advertising regulations

Overcoming advertising and compliance challenges in the pharma industry.
Brand awareness and consideration campaigns using VAST video technology.

Once the flu season knocks on our doors, it’s important to be ready to fight it. 

For brands like Haleon, it’s a busy time trying to put their products in front of people and cut through all the advertising noise, but with the right creatives and partners, these efforts don’t go unnoticed.

This is what happened with Otrivin, Haleon’s nasal product for congestion relief. 

Together with Publicis Groupe CEE and Eskimi, Haleon launched seasonal ad campaigns using VAST video to boost ad recall and brand awareness. By adding programmatic to its advertising mix, the healthcare giant achieved the results it’s been aiming for.

“We hit our campaign goals, so we will continue our cooperation with Eskimi and look towards expanding tools and approaches in 2023,” said Christina Ilchishina, Digital Communications Manager at Publicis Groupe CEE.

About Haleon

Haleon is a multinational consumer healthcare company headquartered in Weybridge, England. 

Although officially it’s less than a year old, Haleon was established as a corporate spin-off from GSK, a British pharmaceutical and biotechnology brand selling globally for over 20 years.

Some of the best-known Haleon brands include Theraflu, Solpadeine, Sensodyne, Nicorette, Corega, Coldrex, Aquafresh, Paradontax, Voltaren, Centrum, and, of course, Otrivin.


Seeing Eskimi as a trusted programmatic partner, Haleon and Publicis Group CEE chose the platform to launch VAST video campaigns in two markets, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan, and ensure the smooth delivery of Haleon’s message to the brand’s target audience.

Video as a preferred advertising medium

Because of its highly engaging nature and sustained popularity, video remains one of the most effective forms of advertising, which is still projected to show annual growth. Besides, it provides more opportunities for storytelling and showcasing the best that the product has to offer.

Otrivin ad

This was one of the key reasons for Haleon to choose video advertising instead of other formats.

“Firstly, since the key goals of our campaign were ad recall and awareness, which can be built with video assets mostly, it was important to us to tell more about our product, describe and highlight the benefits to the consumers, use its advantages and explain why it’s the best choice,” said Christina Ilchishina.

VAST video ad for Otrivin

“There is also a legal side to it which requires lots of legal texts and guarantees, and that is almost impossible to display on static banners.”

Ievgenii Savchuk, CEE Area Digital Marketing Manager at Haleon, added: “Due to these language and legal restrictions in each market, our main problem in both Bulgaria and Kazakhstan is the lack of global inventory to advertise in the OTC category – which we got resolved with Eskimi.”

Prioritizing brand safety

Before launching the Otrivin campaign, Haleon highlighted the importance of brand safety and placing product ads in the right environment.

“Brand safety is one of our key requirements because ads appear not only during a specific period of time and place online but should also be justified and of high quality. In addition, pharmaceutical products have many other standards that must be followed and monitored. From the Eskimi side, we received tremendous support optimizing our campaigns, including weekly statuses and recommendations for improving them. One of them is the exclusion of irrelevant sites and applications that deliver unsatisfactory results."

Same ad – different markets

With this Otrivin campaign, Haleon focused on two markets – Kazakhstan and Bulgaria.

Campaigns run over a period of four months, starting in August (Kazakhstan) and September (Bulgaria) and lasting until November and December, respectively.

“Otrivin brand has several products, like cold and flu drugs, products for relieving nasal congestion, which is also often related to allergies. There are also preparations for children that also have their specific audience,” said Christina Ilchishina. 

“Talking about ads in different markets, communication and storylines are often similar. The main difference is language. However, depending on the region, consumer behavior may also differ, so this time, we targeted not only different locations but also interests.”

For both campaigns, the key goals were Reach and building an effective number of contacts with consumers. After succeeding with awareness metrics, Haleon has also included the Consideration stage.

“The difference between the stages of the consumer funnel lies in the set of targeting, interests, and tools. At each stage, we pursue different goals. Of course, KPIs also differ – in the Awareness campaign, you mostly look at Reach, while in the Consideration part, we focus more on the “secondary” metrics that are just as important — VTR, CTR, CR.”


Haleon and Publicis Groupe CEE were happy with both campaigns' results, which helped to increase the awareness of Otrivin, deliver the message to its target audience, and do it in a cost-effective way.

Ievgenii Savchuk commented: “We managed to bring the lower price than what we have historically paid in the market for buying contacts.”


Otrivin campaign results in Bulgaria
  • The number of impressions for the Awareness campaign exceeded the client’s expectations by 44.85%.
  • One of the key metrics for the Consideration campaign, VTR, reached 98.47%.
  • The number of views was 58.38% higher than planned and expected for the Consideration campaign.


Otrivin campaign results in Kazakhstan
  • Otrivin campaign hit and exceeded the number of planned impressions for the Awareness campaign by 0.12%.
  • VTR for the Consideration campaign reached 99.09%.
  • The number of expected views during the Consideration campaign was exceeded by over 24%.
Christina Ilchishina's quote
Ievgenii Savchuk's quote

When asked about future expectations, Christina Ilchishina said: “We will continue our cooperation with Eskimi, plan to increase our investments, and expand our portfolio of brands, as well as the range of tools and formats.”

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