XCellr8 is a GLP-accredited laboratory committed to animal-free safety and efficacy tests for the cosmetics, personal case and chemical industries. Its clients include high street retail brands, large ingredient manufacturers and fast-growth SMEs.

B2B media relations for a laboratory business specialising in animal-free testing for cosmetics, personal care and chemical industries

Achieving media coverage in key chemicals and cosmetics industry publications and high visibility in Google search results


  • Create greater association for the company in the media and in online search with the issue of animal testing.
  • Generate media visibility for XCellR8’s work in non-animal testing and show progress made towards eliminating animal testing.
  • Improve XCellR8’s ranking in Google organic results for specific search terms.

PR Strategy

  • Evolved the company’s ethical stance on animal testing to a create a harder-hitting, science-led and more commercially-driven media relations campaign for the business. 
  • A chemicals and cosmetics sector media relations campaign around XCellR8’s success in obtaining Horizon 2020 funding – a European Union innovation programme – to develop a new, non-animal acute toxicity test. 
  • Deploy material from an 80-page proof of market primary research report to present the case for industry adopting non-animal testing methods. 

The strategy we deployed to maximise media coverage and appearance in online search focused on:

  • Highlighting that its work was “world-leading”.
  • Publicising its ground-breaking use in testing of human cells taken from skin samples donated by cosmetic surgery patients.
  • Presenting non-animal testing as a more scientifically-valid way to assess the effects of chemicals on people.
  • Reiterating that EU regulation for products containing chemicals and public opinion was increasingly demanding an end to animal testing.
  • Emphasising XCellR8’s status as the only-known testing laboratory developing new, and adapting existing, tests to eliminate all animal components.
  • Explain the demands on chemical companies and product manufacturers to meet EU regulations and find alternatives to animal testing.
  • Reiterate the pressure on companies to have chemical ingredients tested and validated before the EU’s 2018 deadline.

PR activity:

The XCellR8 campaign included two phases of media relations activity:

  • News story #1: announcing the Horizon 2020 funding success as the “next step in the complete eradication of animal testing for chemical ingredients used in cosmetics, personal care and household products”.
  • News story #2: calling on scientists working in chemicals and cosmetics manufacturing to contribute their views to XCellR8’s bid for further EU funding to develop the non-animal, acute toxicity test.


We identified and approached target media in the cosmetics and chemicals sector plus science correspondents on the national media. Our work in targeting the national media made a breakthrough with the Press Association’s science correspondent, who took up the story and ensured its distribution to national and regional media news desks.


48 separate pieces of media coverage across industry-specific, national and regional media.

Media visibility and association with key online search terms:

  • Increase in “PR Traffic Value”: the level of visibility achieved for XCellR8 in online media based on readers who go directly to a news site (see chart 1). 
  • Increase in association with key online search terms: visibility of XCellR8 in Google Search results in connection with specific search terms, i.e. cosmetics, animal testing, non-animal testing (see chart 2) . 


Between January 2016 and before Metamorphic PR launched the first phase of the media relations campaign in September 2016, XCellR8 was in 91st position in Google organic search for the term “non-animal testing” 

During the media relations campaign in the week commencing 12 September 2016, XCellR8 appeared in Google search positions 1, 2, 4, 11 and 13 for the same term. Following the second phase of the media relations campaign in November 2016, XCellR8 appeared in Google search position 2 in search for non-animal testing.





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