GSK taps Wynonna to pitch Alli

GlaxoSmithKline ad for weight loss pill Alli, featuring Wynonna Judd as the new spokesperson. Look for a new marketing push behind GlaxoSmithKline's weight-loss drug Alli. The company signed Wynonna Judd to campaign for the over-the-counter pill on TV and the web; GSK already has a Judd-centered Alli website online, BNet Pharma reports. Presumably the media buy isn't far behind. Meanwhile, Glaxo is hoping to launch the drug in Europe later this year.

It's something of a resurgence for Alli, which was touted early on as a potential blockbuster, but managed to eke out only $88 million in sales for the first nine months of 2008. Glaxo had allowed an online Alli community, alliconnect.com, to go fallow last year, and some pharma watchers theorized that it would let the drug sink. But as BNet notes, VP Karen Scollick took over the brand, and appears to be rallying behind it.

Meanwhile, the weight loss business overall has been roiled lately with news of failed meds and promises of new ones. Two potential remedies already approved for other uses by the FDA are being tested by Harvard scientists. Stay tuned.

- view Judd's Alli commercial
- check out the GSK release
- read the BNet post

ALSO: The FDA is adding an additional 41 products to an alert about tainted diet pills issued late last month, bringing the total to 69, officials said; some of the meds incorporate active ingredients in branded weight-loss drugs. Report

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