Policy Mapping & Responsible Lobbying Guidelines

H/Advisors Cicero was tasked with updating the Novartis external facing lobbying guidelines and internal handbook. The brief involved a root and branch review of the lobbying landscape globally, to mitigate any reputational risk to Novartis and establish a principles-based approach to external stakeholder engagement.

Strategy & Execution

Detailed desk research of legislation surrounding lobbying was conducted and a review of institutions’ best practice guidelines, this included standalone reports of key markets including UK, US, EU and China. A further comparative report was delivered that compared the external lobbying guidelines published by other global pharmaceutical companies, to demonstrate the key attributes required for best practice.

Following the research phase, H/Advisors Cicero delivered a series of workshops with country leads across the Novartis global network to review their understanding of lobbying best practice and help align messaging for the new guidelines. For example, exploring whether the word “lobbying” was appropriate, or if an alternative term should be used instead. 

New guidelines were drafted utilizing the workshop insights. Previous Novartis policy documentation was cross-referenced to ensure consistency in language and length. Ongoing working sessions with the client were used to ensure a collaborative approach to delivering the new guidelines. 

As all companies face increasing scrutiny around practicing good governance, establishing clear and robust guidelines around how to lobby appropriately is an essential for global corporations to protect themselves reputationally. Delivering this project for Novartis involved understanding all the lobbying regulations globally, and identifying where the grey areas of risk lie in how companies engage. Our approach was to ensure Novartis not only met the requirements, but sought to be best in class, through empowering all their colleagues globally to follow the revised Guideline.

Sarah Bosworth, Account Director


We successfully delivered the new guideline draft for Novartis, which redefined its scope to include public policy and stakeholder engagement. The revised guideline adopted a principles-based approach, designed to increase the accountability and responsibility of all colleagues to make informed and responsible decisions.

We also helped to promote the guidelines internally with an animated explainer video and are currently working on developing the internal handbook. 

If you wish to discuss any of the issues mentioned in this article, please contact Sarah in H/Advisors Cicero’s Research team on

Self care is an emerging healthcare theme globally, enabling patients and consumers to play a more active role in managing their own health. Reckitt wanted to understand from a policy and regulatory perspective, how advanced the policy is and in which markets to focus resource. H/Advisors Cicero was instructed to undertake an independent review of the self care landscape in five key markets, and present to Reckitt a Self-Care strategy and next steps for implementation.

Strategy & Execution

Across five tier one markets, UK, US, France, Germany and Australia, we conducted desk research to collect information available on self-care policy in each market. This included using Government and regulatory websites, trade association groups for consumer health and academic sources compile reports on each market. We established both how well understood self care was as a term in the market, and which other issues it was most likely to be associated with. We also identified any live policy debates or legislation that specifically referenced self care.

Having completed the desk research, we utilized relevant political contacts to assess their understanding of self care. We also interviewed the Reckitt country leads in each market to understand how familiar they were with self care as a term and to compare this with our research findings, identifying potential gaps or hooks which could be used to drive the self care debate within that market.

Reducing the burden of care on healthcare workers is a top priority across all developed markets. Self care is a key part of that strategy, increasing the role that consumer and Over The Counter (OTC) medicine can play in the wider healthcare system, and enabling the public to become more informed about how to reach their own decisions regarding their own health, and which services are most appropriate to be contacted.

Sarah Bosworth, Account Director


Our work concluded with the presentation of a global public affairs strategy to Reckitt on self care. We provided Reckitt with detailed insight into each market, including political appetite for self care and mapping of key political stakeholders, and the toolkit needed for country-level activation.

For the UK market, where we found that self care was most advanced as a policy, we made suggestions for two potential campaigns that could be launched by the public affairs team, and how they would align with the wider healthcare policy agenda.

If you wish to discuss any of the issues mentioned in this article, please contact Sarah in H/Advisors Cicero’s Research team on

H/Advisors Cicero has been the retained public affairs agency for the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) since 2014. Since that time, we have undertaken various public affairs requests including supporting UK and EU campaigns, developed PA strategy, provided up to date monitoring and analysis for key internal stakeholders, all with the objective of creating a favourable legislative landscape for the health food industry.

Strategy & Execution

At a strategic level, we worked with the leadership of the HFMA to help drive understanding and awareness amongst EU policymakers of the important role health food products play in the broader public health debate. We also advocated for changes to the Food Supplements Directive to ensure the EU-wide levels set for the specific list of vitamins and minerals was equal to and not below the standard already in place in the UK.

H/Advisors Cicero engaged with EU stakeholders to build HFMA’s presence among the EU institutions. An initial priority was to build allies for HFMA in all three institutions. On the campaign, we directly engaged with the European Commission DG for Health and Food, and scientific committee on health (sub group of EC), and EU Food Safety Authority (FSA). We drafted position papers, amendments, statements, clarifications, in addition to making technical issues digestible to EU wide politicians ENVI committee in the European Parliament.

We also provide ongoing day-to-day support for HFMA across their public affairs monitoring, key legislative and regulatory analysis and provide senior counsel sessions throughout the year to hone in on particularly pertinent activities or events.

Having worked for HFMA for several years, day-to-day operations of the account are seamless. Our greatest shared achievements have resulted from intelligently designed and executed campaigns. Leveraging HFMAs deep sectoral knowledge alongside H/Advisors Cicero’s far reaching networks and campaign toolkit to achieve meaningful change for a vibrant and positive industry.

Simon Fitzpatrick, Head of Public Affairs


We continue to provide HFMA’s public affairs team with a full service public affairs toolkit. A standout moment in our engagement was designing and executing a campaign that advocated for changes to the Food Supplements Directive to ensure the EU levels set for vitamins and minerals was equal to the standard already in place in the UK. This, in turn, increased the benchmark requirement across the EU. which increased the benchmark requirement across all member states. The win commercially meant HFMA members were able to sell more products across the EU.

If you wish to discuss any of the issues mentioned in this article, please contact Simon in H/Advisors Cicero’s Public Affairs team on

H/Advisors Cicero developed AEGON’s global communications programme to support the need for workplace retirement savings, healthcare, and life insurance. This involved the development of global strategic themes across 15 core markets including the US, Canada, UK, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Japan and China.  

Strategy & Execution

We developed a multi-layered research platform, including a global survey across all 15 markets, in-depth interviews with market experts and policymakers, and focus groups with key opinion leaders, employers and employees in the US, Latin America, and Europe. These insights fuelled global content that delivered fresh perspective across the need to make national retirement systems more resilient.

We assisted Aegon in redefining the global debate on pension reform. We identified the OECD as a key partner and developed global alliances with retirement thought leaders around the world.  Our research emphasised the important role of Aegon’s core workplace insurance products as part of the global solution to retirement readiness, which we demonstrated through the creation of the Aegon Retirement Readiness Index (ARRI) which is now in its 12th year.  Our insights and content helped OECD and national public policymakers in designing policies to support the take up of workplace defined contribution plans opening new market opportunities for Aegon in established markets like the UK and emerging markets like Brazil.    

The campaign really placed Aegon at the front and centre of the debate around the sustainability of global retirement systems and the need for a new social contract between the individual, employer and the state

Andrew Roberts – Chief Creative Officer


More than 2,000 pieces of press coverage annually in key markets including the Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, US, and Japan. We achieved media placement in global media such as CNBC, Forbes and The Financial Times.

The establishment of two retirement research centres within Aegon in the Netherlands and Brazil producing a series of white paper reports containing global findings.

Input into OECD policy debates throughout the year, including at the annual OECD Forum in Paris and the Global Coalition on Aging. 

The creation of a coalition of employers and over 500 municipal governments in Brazil to support the expansion of defined contribution workplace pension plans.

The creation of the brand campaign to help drive the growth of the workplace and individual pensions businesses in the UK. 

If you wish to discuss any of the issues mentioned in this article, please contact Andrew in H/Advisors Cicero’s campaigns team on


CMS were looking to create content that influenced the UK debate around the issue of long-term care affordability and supported how the business engaged with industry on how it engages with and supports its customers throughout their financial lives.

Strategy and execution

We conducted a nationally representative survey of 2,000 UK adults, with a distinct question set for each of the following groups: current retirees, those aged 38+ and not currently retired and Millennials / Generation Z (aged 18-37).

We also conducted an online survey of 200 senior and middle managers working within the UK financial services industry, and ran a series of 12 in-depth interviews with a range of financial services senior leaders which were used as case study material throughout the report.


  • H/Advisors Cicero created a flagship thought leadership report used as a platform for two industry events in London and Edinburgh and participated on a panel discussion that also included Legal & General, Scottish Widows and Age UK
  • Created client case studies used throughout and independently of the report
  • Video content created with event participants and used across social channels


H/Advisors Cicero undertook an international landscaping campaign, working with six Havas agencies to monitor the medical laboratory regulatory environment across six countries: Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany. This project was undertaken to assist the company in understanding the political risks associated with investment in these markets.

Strategy and execution

H/Advisors Cicero coordinated and held overall oversight of the report by providing direction to each country lead, ensuring consistency and quality of insight. Each country lead was provided with a report strawman in advance. Each country provided a detailed analysis on current legislation, policy debates, market news and potential risks associated with an investment in medical labs. 


A report summary and dashboard was created to help navigate the content and ensure clarity. Once complete, each country hosted a 30-minute debrief call to discuss their findings. The project informed the client’s future investment in the medical laboratory market across the six countries.