Painting Pharma Green

August 29, 2007

Pharmaceutical Executive

Volume 0, Issue 0

New marketing agency helps pharma companies clean up their act

In what could well be a sign of things to come in pharma marketing, one of the industry's top agencies has launched a new firm that focuses specifically on "green" communications. The new firm is Earthborn, a communications agency within CommonHealth.

And its mission, according to CommonHealth President and CEO Matt Giegerich, is "to help pharma companies understand how they can connect their corporation, portfolio, or brand to an environmental issue that is meaningful and then translate that into messaging that drives consumer choice and preference."

Earthborn plans to help (and push) pharma companies to establish educational programs and forge connections with causes.

Earth care as Healthcare

"We know that there is a very clear connection between the environment and individual health," Giegerich says. "Earth care, in a way, is healthcare. We are focused on the healthcare marketplace in terms of client companies, but the idea of Earthborn isn't related just to pharma companies--it's for any brand or portfolio that wants to add an environmental plank to its platform."

For example, a company that is involved in the asthma or allergy category can develop community programs that show the link between the decay of the environment and the rising incidents of allergy and asthma. Earthborn will help pharma companies develop initiatives, educational materials, and support programs that can help people understand the link between the environment and allergies, and help them change that environment on an individual and community level.

Funding Initiatives

"Funding those initiatives at the corporate level is a way to link the company to an environmental concern and add the reality of a brand worth choosing, because it is doing something meaningful to address the problem that the drug treats," Giegerich says. "Our idea is to take the corporate social responsibilities that are often mentioned in annual reports and translate those initiatives into individual brand marketing efforts."

Earthborn is also promoting a strategy for discarding unused medical products. Most times, these products sit in consumers' cabinets and are frequently thrown in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. That puts them in areas where children can find them or creates problems in the water supply. "This is an opportunity for a pharma company to create a health information program with awareness campaigns or disposal efforts," Giegerich says.