Mr. Big

Nick Colucci
Jun 18, 2007

DIRECTIVE:
What is the role of a parent company? What does it mean for a prospective client who, more often than not, is looking to buy business at an agency level? What do these huge companies offer? And is bigger really better?

FINDINGS:
OK, a parent company is a holding company that owns enough voting stock in another firm to control management and operations by influencing or electing its board of directors. In other words, it maximizes shareholder value. Still, what does it mean for an agency and, in turn, a client to be under a big top? To find out AGENCY CONFIDENTIAL brazenly elbowed its way into the executive offices of two men who should know: Nick Colucci, recently named president and CEO of Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, one of the largest healthcare groups in the world; and Scott Cotherman, CEO of Corbett Accel Healthcare Group, a parent company for eight business units and a member of the Omnicom Group.

In May, Nick Colucci was appointed President and CEO of Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, replacing Ed Rady, his mentor and colleague for the past 11 years. It is being called one of the smoothest transitions in advertising history. Colucci, 47, was named Rady's successor in 2004, when he was promoted to the position of COO. Since then, he gradually assumed all the responsibilities that go with the CEO's job. And, voilĂ , now he's at the top. Publicis Healthcare is an integrated division of Publicis Groupe, the fourth-largest communication group in the world. And while the Publicis Groupe is French in origin, there's nothing remotely French about Colucci, who speaks with a distinct New York accent. A graduate of the University of Rochester, Colucci earned a BS in neuroscience and later went on to receive an MBA from Loyola College of Maryland. He lives with his wife, Ellie, and their three children in Westfield, NJ.


Nick Colucci
In the same week Colucci was named president, he took the time out to talk to AGENCY CONFIDENTIAL about his and his company's role in the industry's changing landscape. Colucci is generous, engaging, insightful, and completely unpretentious. He is also devoted to the industry.

"I'm one of those rare kind of guys who's been in the business my whole life," says Colucci. "After college, I went to work at Hoffman-La Roche here in the States in a variety of different positions, from sales to marketing. Then I went to a small start-up business in healthcare in the diagnostics area."

WHY HE'S MR. BIG

We're a network that really works together as a group. We have a diverse group of companies within the network. Virtually all of the healthcare assets, the vast majority, within the entire Publicis group report up through one person, and that's me.

A parent with a vision

We share access; we share key relationships across many of the companies with all of the different brands and businesses. But really, one should look at the Publicis Healthcare Communications Group as leadership. We drive leadership in the organization in terms of creating a vision for the group and the broad strategies of how we're going to get there, the principles, and the values.