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Tracking Down the Best Agency...For You


Pharmaceutical Executive

Pharmaceutical ExecutivePharmaceutical Executive-06-18-2007
Volume 0
Issue 0

Track down standout healthcare agencies using legal means. Your purpose: to assist prospective clients in choosing the right agency for their brands. Find out what makes agencies tick. See what's in their toolboxes. Go behind closed doors. Observe agencies' physical environment, note how they work. Take stock of the company's internal culture. Are the employees engaged, happy? Gather whatever information (i.e., facts, gossip, samples of work) and/or anything else that might be helpful to prospective clients. Take pictures of key principals at work and at play (if possible). Deconstruct the agency's proprietary approaches and strategic processes. Translate them into language an eighth-grader can understand.


Track down standout healthcare agencies using legal means. Your purpose: to assist prospective clients in choosing the right agency for their brands. Find out what makes agencies tick. See what's in their toolboxes. Go behind closed doors. Observe agencies' physical environment, note how they work. Take stock of the company's internal culture. Are the employees engaged, happy? Gather whatever information (i.e., facts, gossip, samples of work) and/or anything else that might be helpful to prospective clients. Take pictures of key principals at work and at play (if possible). Deconstruct the agency's proprietary approaches and strategic processes. Translate them into language an eighth-grader can understand.


Agencies resist categorization (e.g., professional vs. consumer). Want to be seen as full-service, all things to all people. If they are big, they tell you they're small. If they are small, they tell you they're big. No doubt this is true. In the same way a really great restaurant will allow you to order off-menu and make you a boiled egg if so desired, top agencies have deep resources and are likely to be able to serve up whatever marketing strategy a client wants. Our interest, however, is in the agencies eager to form a partnership with a client, who truly understand integrated marketing, who have teams who employ left-brain planning techniques, who know the science, who care about your brand, who engage with you and are willing to stay the course. Size doesn't matter. Holding companies aren't the ones that come up with the ideas, as Peter Kim points out in a recent Forrester Research study "Help Wanted: 21st Century Agency." Kim urges clients to choose their partners on an agency level, to look for agencies that employ a media-agnostic approach—in other words, agencies that favor no particular medium over another. Look for agencies that do whatever is necessary to accommodate clients who are increasingly becoming interested (even if tentatively) in a more integrated approach to marketing and channel planning that might include some traditional advertising as well as a focus on other communication disciplines like med ed, PR, and interactive.


Advertising is, after all, a service industry. As with any service industry, finding and keeping help is both a top priority, and a challenge. "One of the biggest reasons agencies get fired is turnover on the team servicing the brand," says Dale Taylor, president of AbelsonTaylor. Clients want to be reassured the people they start out working with will stay the course. To that end, the following AGENCY CONFIDENTIAL spotlight report favors agencies that actively address recruitment and retension issues by way of training programs and other internal initiatives. The other criteria for inclusion is having a clear cut differential, something that makes the agency special. Truth is, all top agencies produce creative work, and win awards. Finding the right one for you then is often a matter of following your gut. An agency is only as good as its people. Hanging out at an agency for a day, lunching with employees is likely to tell you more about the place than the fanciest of pitches. We hope this report might also be a helpful starting point.



CREATIVE IS THE word most bandied about in connection with AbelsonTaylor. And the Chicago agency has awards and citations a mile long to prove it. AbelsonTaylor's creativity is not the tippy, showy, often brilliant but quickly evaporating kind so often associated with advertising agencies. AbelsonTaylor's creativity evolves out of structure, stability, limits (even regulations) and, most of all, freedom. And when it works, their ads can take your breath away.

AbelsonTaylor is likely the largest independent medical advertising agency in the world. And independence is what Dale Taylor (cofounder and president) cites as the source from which all else emanates. "Many of the things that make us a little different have a lot to do with our independence. The lack of a holding company demanding an ever-growing revenue stream of 20 percent a year (or some other arbitrary amount) lets us make different decisions than we might make otherwise," he says.

From independence also comes stability. "Our strangely low staff turnover is one result," says Taylor. "Twelve years ago when people first started talking about how creative we were, we had 21 creatives. Since then, two of those folks have retired and 16 still work here, and most are now CDs or ACDs. (We have 121 creatives now). In contrast to network agencies, our independence lets us react differently to business slowdowns—and the staff notices. We can hang on during the inevitable slow spots, so they do too."

The agency is run by a group of 14 people who have the title of VP Creative or VP Account Director. "No one in these positions has ever left the agency. Many have spent most or all of their careers here and all share a common set of values in terms of the way we treat people, the way we treat clients (and their money), and the kind of work we do. It is rare that network agencies can offer this kind of singular focus and long-term stability." Sound staid? Taylor agrees: "Not as exciting as some new trademarked insight-creation algorithm with a real clever name, but it is what makes us different."

And successful...very successful.


What's not to like? Independent, creative, proven track record: AbelsonTaylor's income last year exceeded $50 million. They've doubled in size in three years. They've just moved in June from their original home in Chicago's East Loop to new digs with massive office space. They took on 17 new accounts in the last year. They create DTC ads that hit more than miss. Check out their Web site: It's a model of creative elegance, great interactive, and no clutter. It even includes financial information. Clients are, among many others: Abbott Laboratories, Biogen Idec, Daiichi Sankyo, Eli Lilly , Genentech, Lilly ICOS, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America.


33 West Monroe, Chicago, IL 60603

T: 312-894-5500 • www.abelson-taylor.com


Topin & Associates

THEY COMPARE THEMSELVES to a chili pepper. They even call their proprietary approach Pepper Logic. How creative is that? But then Topin & Associates is in Chicago. And they combine a kind of Midwestern mind-set with not-so-hidden heat. Al Topin is president. Warm, seemingly conservative, he's been married to the same woman for 35 years. He's a father and a grandfather, and looks a little like Burl Ives. His personality gets hotter when you realize he's the pepper along with a jazzy, ad-man pedigree that includes a stint at J. Walter Thomson. Talking to Topin about his agency's creativity, he demurs and says we must be thinking of AbelsonTaylor. So, he's modest, too. His agency is hugely successful. Ranked 20 on Advertising Age's top healthcare agencies' list, Topin's 2006 earnings were reported at $4.7 million. Topin himself is pictured on far right with team members Abby Mansfield and John Diaz.


The agency celebrated its 25th anniversary this spring. It prides itself on being client-centered. They look for those companies willing to make an investment, to engage in a relationship. Pepper Logic includes mapping out a strategic plan. Go to their Web site and take a look. It's very similar to mind-mapping. Clients include: Ovation Pharmaceuticals, Teva Neuroscience, and Sunstar Butler, among others.

Topin & Associates

205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2315, Chicago, IL 6060

T: 312-645-0100 • www.topin.com


Adair-Greene • McCann Healthcare Communications

YOU HAVE TO look long and hard before you find an agency with a more distinct differential than Atlanta's Adair-Greene. Part of it has to do with the Blues. Say what? "We help clients overcome their blues specifically related to the marketing of their product," explains Mark Perlotto, executive vice president, chief marketing officer (pictured here). "The idea blossomed into partnering with real musicians in the Atlanta blues scene to develop the music and record the songs to a CD as part of the overall campaign initiative that we used to distinctively position and promote the agency." To really understand what it means, talk to Mark, who definitely has the mojo, or the guts, or something. Or go to the agency's Web site where you can download songs with titles like "The Young Brand Blues" and "The Regulatory Blues." The agency is interested in attracting companies outside of Big Pharma. "Companies with a lean, hungry, and aggressive mindset, an entrepreneurial spirit, a willingness to take risks, and with, almost always, a sense of being the underdog in the fight," says Perlotto. The agency is empathic and intensely client-centered. They try to put themselves in the client's shoes. "To best serve a client you have to understand their struggle," says Perlotto.


Don't let the funky blues thing distract from the fact that the agency is very successful at what it does, pulling in under $10 million annually. They are part of the giant McCann Healthcare Worldwide, which is under the umbrella of Interpublic Group of Companies.

Adair-Greene • McCann

1575 Northside Drive, Atlanta, GA 30318

T: 404-351-8424 • www.aghealthcare.com


Cadient Group

ADDING AN INTERACTIVE agency, such as the Cadient Group, to the mix can make all partners more successful and the process more enjoyable. Or so they say. We asked the Group how it works: "During the past two years, interactive marketing and agencies specializing in e-marketing have swung off the monkey bars and into the sandbox of core agency partners," they said. "We bring a new mind-set to the playground. When you come from an interactive-agency perspective, you have to assume that you'll be partnering with a multitude of stakeholders (internal and external) to design, develop, and implement any initiative. Our entire culture is built to thrive on collaboration. We've helped to unify sales force, promotion, DTC, PR, and educational initiatives—actually creating more opportunities for our channel partners than before we stepped foot in the sandbox. To innovate, you have to kick up a little sand now and then, but at Cadient Group, we're bringing along some new toys and a new mindset, to help everyone have a better time.


You gotta believe them, especially when you look at how successful the Group was last year. It reflects the wider trend reported in an Advertising Age report, published in April, which showed that US interactive-agency revenue rocketed 23.1 percent and was what drove the overall increase in marketing services. In 2006, alone Cadient enjoyed a 45 percent increase in revenue last year alone. Client include: AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Novartis, among others.

Cadient Group

Five Tower Bridge, 300 Barr Harbor Drive, Suite 400, West

Conshohocken, PA 19428 • T: 484-351-2800 • www.cadient.com


Donahoe Purohit Miller Advertising

THINKING OUTSIDE THE box comes naturally to Dr. Ahnal Purohit. It is a quality she attributes to her backgroud. In academia, "they are not going to let you publish a paper if it doesn't expand the horizon in some different way," says Purohit, a fomer professor, with a PhD in psychometrics —the study of how the measurement of psychological information is operationalized. "Whether good, bad, or indifferent, it's going to affect how I think," says Purohit. "Our agency, frankly, is very, very analytical. Everyone has to be. It is not a cliché to say we are strategic and creative. Our vice president of creative always laughs about it. She doesn't let us put our crayon on a paper until the strategy is set." The agency last year won an impressive 18 new accounts, and opened up a West Coast office. Their differential is something they decided early on. "We are a mid-sized agency, and we go after small to mid-sized products," says Purohit "We enjoy that space and working in that way. We actually love it."


The agency is organized into four full-service divisions, each focused on a different aspect of brand building. Clients include, among others, Roche Laboratories, Bioniche Life Sciences, and Ferndale Laboratories.

Donahoe Purohit Miller Advertising

111 S. Wacker Dr. Chicago, IL 60606

T: 312-341-8100 • www.donahoepurohitmiller.com



STEVE MICHAELSON'S DREAM when he founded Wishbone/ITP was for it to be an agency where he would deliver a product he could be proud of and, just as important, provide a culture where people enjoyed coming to work. That was in 1998. The agency consisted of Steve and a computer. Eight years later, driven by Michaelson's passion, a crew of inspiring partners, and a group of talented staff members—not to mention cutting-edge technology—the agency is a major force in the industry, winning pitches with the best of the best. Michaelson supplies a free lunch for his employees every day, which he says fosters a sense of family. And since everyone knows that creativity is fueled largely through the stomach, it pays off there as well. The agency does beautiful, often breathtaking work. (They also have an ultracool conference room with the grooviest gadgets that left us green with envy.) Wishbone gives hope to other independent agencies: You can be your own person, your own agency, and be successful to boot.


In the last year, Wishbone/ITP won three major accounts, lots of awards, and increased its staff. New business included a global launch for Otuska America. Clients are, among others, GlaxoSmithKline, Dey LP, and MedPointe.


245 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10016

T: 646-486-9701 • www.wishbone-itp.com


Goble & Associates

CLIENTS ARE LEFT SMILING is Goble & Associates' promise. They back it up by inviting visitors to their Web site to send e-mails to various clients to ask them if they are still smiling about their G&A experience. It's an example of the agency's intensely client-focused approach. One that both attracts and delivers. Theirs is one of the few Web sites that lets the clients do the talking.


Lots of clients were left smiling in 2006, which was an especially good one for the agency. Marked by growth in the form of new acounts, more employees, and increased revenus. Clients include, among others, Abbott Laboratories, Cephalon, StoneBridge.

Goble & Associates

One East Wacker Drive. Suite 3200, Chicago, IL 60601

T: 312-803-1900 • www.goble-assoc.com


Cline, Davis & Mann

TWENTY-THREE YEARS ago Ed Wise took a job as a copywriter at Cline, Davis & Mann. He never left. Today he is the agency's chairman and CEO. The story tells you something about CDM. It is a place where literally you can work your way to the top. It also tells you something about Ed Wise. Given his devotion and know-all, AGENCY CONFIDENTIAL asked him what makes Cline, Davis & Mann special. "What really defines CDM and helps drive our difference is our clear sense of purpose," he said. "Another is our driving focus on talent development, which comes to life through our CDM University." A key role in leadership for Wise is to remind and connect people to the passion and the purpose of their work. "At CDM, we are fortunate to draw on the drama and power of preserving health and improving lives," he said. "We call it 'The Joy of Science.'" Wise points to their CultureVue divison as an example of what can come out of a willingness to experiment with new business ideas. CultureVue focuses on developing insight-driven strategies for healthcare brands that take cultural backgrounds into account.


A class act. A full-service agency that specializes in professional advertising. CDM is under the umbrella of the Omnicom Group. Clients include: Amgen, Genentech, Novartis, NovoNordisk, Pfizer.

Cline Davis & Mann

220 East 42nd Street, New York, NY

T: 212-907-4300 • www.clinedavis.com


Torre Lazur McCann

INDUSTRY INSIGHT WAS supplied recently by Marci Piasecki, CEO of the award-winning and enormously successful Torre Lazur McCann, when AGENCY CONFIDENTIAL talked with her on the phone. Piasecki, a fierce and loyal client advocate, acknowledges that while the industry is currently being challenged, an investment needs to be made to make leaps forward. "The industry needs to make money, and we help them do that," says Piasecki. "We tend to forget the innovations the industry has made over the years and the value of medicine. It took big leaps then and it will take big leaps now." One of the ways Torre Lazur McCann makes money for their clients is by viewing every and any project as if it is the launch of a new brand. "We bring to it that same intensity, the kind that engages the entire agency."


Torre Lazure McCann's core service is healthcare advertising and communication. However, they can draw on resources from their larger parent group McCann Healthcare Worldwide. Interactive and new media solutions are built into their own core offering. The agency also offers a strategic planning group that drives clients brand in all stages of the market. Clients include, among others, GlaxoSmithKline, and Eisai.

Torre Lazur McCann

20 Waterview Blvd, Parsippany, NJ 07054

T: 973-263-0290 • www.torrelazur.com


Corbett Accel

Healthcare Group

THE GROUP WAS formed in 2004 when two companies within the Omnicom Group were united: Corbett, a leading healthcare agency for over 45 years, based in Chicago, and Accel, a rapidly growing 5-year-old New York company. Since then, the combined entity has nearly doubled in size. It now includes: Accel Health, Corbett, Surge, Iris, and Kinect. The Group is headed by Scott Cotherman (see interview) and it has agencies in both New York City and Chicago. AGENCY CONFIDENTIAL confesses to having a soft spot for agencies parented by Omnicom. If for no other reason than the practice some have of handing out awards to employees for work well done and for exhbiting sterling values such as courage and enthusiasm. A few of the agencies go so far as to hang the awards in the hallways for everyone to see. Hokey? At first we thought so, but then we remembered the last time an employer complimented us. And you know what? It went a long way.


Corbett Accel Group gives their agencies indepedence while supplying access to global markets, interactive resources, a hands-on CEO, and a core belief system to guide them.

Corbett Accel Healthcare Group

211 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

T: 312-475-2610 • www.corbettaccel.com


Flashpoint Medica

ELECTRIFYING IS THE word that comes to mind when we think of Flashpoint. Everything about it vibrates: Its newness, the madly creative, high-energy women (picture above) who run it, the work which, when it hits, soars. And so to talk about a differential seems almost superfluous. The agency is the differential. The term Flashpoint refers to the critical opportunity that can ignite change and produce dazzling results. "We're constantly generating new ideas through unexpected thinking and uncommon points of view," says Charlene Prounis, president and managing partner. Savvy and full of ideas, Prounis is joined in the running of the agency by Risa Bernstein, co-president and managing partner, and Helen Appelbaum, partner and chief operating officer. The women, all of whom have the market sense and scientific insight to fuel a brand, decided at the outset (a short two years ago) not to hem themselves in by specializing in any one therapeutic or service area. "We refer to ourselves in that classic way: an agency that offers a full range of services with high quality and fresh insights," says Prounis.


The agency's three-partner account model serves such clients as Genentech, Valera Pharmaceuticals, and Enzon Pharmaceuticals, and others. Flashpoint's parent company is the Corbett Accel Healthcare Group.

Flashpoint Medica

158 W 29th St., New York, NY 10001

T: 212-894-9750 • www.flashpointmedica.com



CARBON IS SMALL, brilliant, and science minded. And, as part of the huge CommonHealth network, it's also big. It specializes in emerging pharma and biopharma companies. It is known for enlivening and interjecting the unexpected into a marketing campaign.


Carbon was established in 2003 as part of the CommonHealth network. Four short years later it is pulling in close to $10 million in revenue. This year it added a whopping 10 new accounts. Its expertise is professional advertising and marketing. Other services include pre-market, pre-launch and launch counseling, strategic planning, and resource allocation, to list just a few.


420 Interpace Parkway, Parsippany, NJ 07054

T: 973-352-2735 • www.commonhealth.com/carbo


Stratagem Healthcare Communications

LOCATED BY THE San Francisco Bay, Stratagem Healthcare Communications came into existence 11 years ago. Their intent, acccording to the founders (Patricia Malone, Susan Hempstead, and Paul Harris) was: "nimbleness, flexibility, and streamlined efficiency—without compromise to smart strategy or compelling creativity." Maintaining commitment and focus in San Francisco is not easy, what with all those mountains and beaches beckoning. Still, they love what they do. "We get to wake up, go to work, immerse ourselves in our clients' businesses, and think," says Malone.


Stratagem looks for the most effective way to communicate a message that's felt. And what is the best tool to use to make that happen? "Emotion," says Patricia Malone.

Stratagem Healthcare Communications

461 Bush St, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108

T: 415-397-3667 • www.stratagem-hc.com


Concentric Advertising

PEOPLE SAY TRUTH is the new trend, but it's still rare in the advertising world to hear a message that wakes you up with its frankness. Welcome to Concentric: "Advertising as we know it is a dead business," says Ken Begasse Sr., one of the agency's partners and director of creative services. "Agencies need to modernize, to provide powerful ideas that engage our clients' customers in a unique, relevant, and ownable fashion." Concentric tries to do just that by using a media-agnostic approach to solving brand challenges and coupling experienced marketers with diverse backgrounds. They also possess a proven formula, says Begasse, that sparks creativity.


What does it all mean? They're in tune with what is happening, and while they may be small, this five-year-old, independent agency based in New York City is hot. Their income more than doubled in a year. Clients include Bayer, Pfizer, and others.


71 West 23rd St., Suite 903, New York, NY 10010

T: 212-633-9700 • www.concentric-rx.com



ASPECT IS A newsletter cum magazine published by Dudnyk, a full-service independent agency based in Philadelphia. It's a great read. "It's also proof," says Frank X. Powers, executive vice president, "that not every piece an ad agency produces has to be promotional." Aspect interviews interesting people from NFL players to rabbis in search of truth, wisdom, and "insight marketing analogues." In a recent issue, Aspect interviewed marketing guru Seth Godin and asked him what he would say to pharma marketers. Godin answered: "I'd say don't try to come up with a brainstorm that changes everything. Instead, try to come up with a description of what the edge is: the scariest ad; the most coveted toy; the package that's hardest to open; that's easiest to open. Put that thought on the table and lots of people you work with will gradually improve what you did. Everyone's good at one-upmanship. Like the Korean restaurant on Broadway in Manhattan that decided to remain open 24 hours a day. They went all the way to the edge. And by going all the way to the edge, it does more business than all the other Korean restaurants put together. It's that simple."


Dudnyk's own philosophy is believing in "aggressive brand voices, expressing brand visions, cranking up brand muscle." It's coupled with some other beliefs you can read about along with the latest Aspect on the company's Web site. The agency, like its newsletter, is choice and wholly original.


100 Tournament Drive. Horsham, PA 19044

T: 215-443-9406 • www.dudnyk.com


Palio Communications

SCIENCE-SAVVY PLUS media inventiveness is a powerful combination, and it is one that sets Palio apart. The name comes from the Italian derivative of the Latin word pallium, meaning banner or flag. If you live in Italy, it refers to the Palio di Siena, the world's oldest and wildest horse race, which takes place in Siena twice a year. It is a much beloved event for the Sienese for whom there is nothing greater than the success of winning. Palio Communications seeks to bring the same passion along with unbridled enthusiasm to everything they do. And while they are far from Madison Avenue (and Siena), their Saratoga Springs location isn't slowing them.


Palio, whose parent company is the ever-expanding inVentiv Communications, prides itself on delivering strategy built on a keen understanding of the marketplace, target audience, audience's perceptions, and how a product is judged in the context of people's lives. Clients include Cephelon Inc., and Novartis, among others.

Palio Communications

260 Broadway Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

T: 518-584-8924 • www.palio.com


Grey Healthcare Group Inc.

"WHEN CHANGE HITS the industry as its doing now, it poses both challenges and opportunities," says Lynn O'Connor Vos, CEO and president of Grey Healthcare Group. "At Grey we're firmly committed to a philosophy and plan for our clients to help them stay ahead of those winds of change." Her Group's philosophy is a belief that today's communications are about relationships between products, patients, physicians, payers, and manufacturers. "It means understanding and integrating every brand message," says Vos, "whether online via blogs, social networks, and chat rooms, or within the more traditional means of online and offline media. We have streamlined our structure to be flatter and faster."


Enormous growth in 2006, as GHG has had for the last ten year. The Group includes such agencies as Grey Healthcare Group Advertising, Sudler & Hennessey, Oglivy Healthworld, BrandEdge.

Grey Healthcare Group Inc.

114 Fifth Ave. New York, NY 10011

T: 212-886-3000 • www.ghgroup.com


LyonHeart (aka Lyons Lavey Nickel Swift)

A NEW NAME, a new look, a new attitude, plus a new CEO, and a new president (see interview). Most of all, the agency sees itself in a new light, one that's based on the strategic process of 'Disruption.' "Not for the sake of being disruptive or difficult," says Anne Devereux, CEO. "We mean disruptive in the way Starbucks changed coffee to be actually a cultural experience, or the way Viagra took the discussion about sexual ability gave it a name and put it in a context that's universal. That's the type of disruptive thinking we're talking about. It's building, not tearing down." LyonHeart is taking the agency to a much higher level of commitment, adds Susan Flinn, president.


The launch due to happen on June 4 already seems to be working, according to Flinn. The agency won five out of five pitches delivered last spring. And they are roaring to go. LyonHeart is an Omnicom Group agency that's part of TBWA\WorldHealth, of which Devereux is also CEO. Clients include among many others, Bayer, Pfizer, Cephalon, Abbott Laboratories, Purdue Pharma, and UCB.


220 East 42nd St., 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10017

T: 212-771-3000 • www.lyon-heart.com



SO WHAT DOES the world of physics have in common with advertising? Both try to push thinking to the edge. "The days of making progress by simply putting an ad in someone's face are history," says Randy Isaacson, executive vice president of Williams-Labadie, a midsize, full-service agency based in Chicago. The agency focuses on building healthcare brands for emerging companies by using distinctive creatives. Consider the possibilities: Video clips that go from camcorders to millions of viewers in days, games that create global competition 24 hours a day, blogs that tell the truth in your flavor of choice. An example of Williams-Labadie's "5th dimension" work is Quinsudoku (www.quinsudoku.com), a viral online game that meshes branding, fun, competitiveness, trendiness, and community-building—more than the printed page could offer. The interactive professional site for Factive (gemifloxacin), a quinolone antibiotic produced by Oscient Pharmaceuticals, is a take-off on the popular and hard-to-put-down game sudoku.


No longer a newbie, the agency has shifted gears and is thriving. They have a dinstinct and spirited entrepreneurial point of view. In the last year they picked up a half-dozen new accounts, several awards, and cemented their reputation as one of the premier forces in interactive healthcare advertising.


57 West Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60610

T: 312-222-5800 • www.willab.com.


CCA Advertising

WELLNESS IS NOT something you hear about much. Disease more often takes center stage. But Mike Devlin, creative director of CCA (pictured here center), believes wellness is the operative word of the times. "I think agencies right now are in an incredible position," he says. "We have an opportunity to be there for our clients in a way that we've never done before. And it's up to us to make sure we do it. That's why we're gravitating more to a wellness dynamic. We are looking at it from every angle." CCA reminds us of the person you meet briefly but know right-off has character—that illusive quality, which is hard to define, and can't be faked. The agency's outlook is fresh but most of all responsive. According to Devlin, "Every one of our clients these days whether it's brand, or corporate reputation or disease program, is asking: 'In this very bizarre environment, and not a very positive one, how do we make sure our story doesn't get lost?' Which is why I think there's this wonderful opportunity for smart people in the ad business and the marketing business to capture that.'" And CCA is very smart, indeed. Their work is gripping as well as thoughtful and very often compassionate. Their offices, in Manhatten's meatpacking district, couldn't be more hip, but once inside exude warmth, as do the people who work there.


The agency had a very successful 2006 with lots of new business. Clients include Genzyme, Immtech, Pfizer Health Solutions, and others.

CCA Advertising

450 West. 15th St. New York, NY 10011

T: 212-845-5652 • www.ccaad.com


Dorland Global

Healthcare Communications

BEFORE IT WAS bought by London-based Huntsworth, an international public relations group, the agency had been one of the oldest independents around. It's also impossible not to see Dorland as an extension of its dynamic and very personable owners Rita and Harry Sweeney. Still, according to Rita Sweeney (see an interview with her), bigger is really going to be better, and while they have relinquished the agency's independence, its defining spirit remains. "We look forward to the unique opportunities our clients bring us to engage our intellects and apply our strategic and creative problem-solving skills," says Rita Sweeney.


Their unique offering is strategic planning grounded in the scientific and the clinical. The medical team works closely with account service and creative teams. Clients imclude Abbott Vascular, Adeza, American Diabetes Association, Cephalon, Cyberonics, and GlaxoSmithKline, among others.

Dorland Global Healthcare Communications

One South Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19107

T: 215-625-0111 • www.dorland.com


Juice Pharma Advertising

THEY LANDED THE big one. The paint was hardly dry on the door of the new agency with the gutsy name of Juice when Merck came knocking. Six months later, Juice was assigned the agency-of-record for Gardasil, Merck's breakthrough vaccine for human papillomavirus. "We were really blessed," says Lynn Macrone (pictured in the center), one of Juice's three partners. "It's a fascinating way to begin your business in this world," adds Lois Moran. The team, which also includes Forrest King, has continued to rack up new accounts, more agency-of-record assignments, and hire more people. Recently, it moved to new digs in Manhattan's Chelsea district. And to what do they attribute their success? "We know we orchestrate a lot of what makes us different, says Macrone. "We're aware that advertising is a service industry, and responsiveness is key. As an independent agency, it allows us certain freedoms that may not be available in another kind of paradigm." The partners point to their ability to make decisions quickly, and to anticipate clients' needs. "We can equip our agency accordingly," says Macrone. "And we can hire the kind of talent we need." The agency offers a full menu of services that highlights cutting-edge, interactive marketing solutions. It also has an excellent record of keeping talent. And why not? Like the touches of orange paint that subtly appear throughout their stunning, ultra-modern loft space, the agency is charged with an irresistible mix of excitement and warmth.


Employs a think-tank approach to a client's business. Their core values center around leadership and accountability. Clients include, among others, Merck and Endo Pharmaceuticals.

Juice Pharma Advertising

322 8th Ave., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10001

T: 212-647-1595 • www.juicepharma.com



THE AGENCY HAS almost doubled in size in two years. It benefits from being a part of the Corbett Accel Healthcare Group. It is also distinctly itself: Under the dynamic and professional leadership of Carleen Kelly, it boasts a commitment to attracting and nurturing top talent, and maintaining a winning spirit.


Clients include Daiichi Sankyo, Genentech, Merck, Schering-Plough, and others.


220 East 42nd Street, NY 10017

T: 646-428-2500 • www.surgehealthcare.com


Brand Pharm

BRAND PHARM THINKS in new ways. "Everything about us, especially our brand vision, can be viewed with an alternative perspective," says Kathy Magnuson, executive vice president and managing director. "Our core essence is to approach each client's business in a way they can't. The ultimate end result: a successful brand." Brand Pharm offers "food for thought that's picked fresh daily," says Magnuson. The agency extends their innovative solutions and alternative thinking to re-positioning and re-launching new and established brands. "It's our job to give our clients more than what they want. In fact, it's our job to give them what they hadn't realized they wanted," says Magnuson.


A division of the Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, the agency is in its second year, but already has shown terrific creative verve. Clients include: Centocor, GlaxoSmithKline, and Sanofi-Aventis. Their staff is handpicked for knowledge and experience as well as for their imagination.

Brand Pharm

105 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016 • T: 212-684-0909 • www.brandpharmusa.com


GSW Worldwide

TOUTED AND AWARDED for their management ability, income growth, creative marketing ability, and account wins, GSW is the Ben Hur of agencies. "We have the ability to create unparalleled and especially innovative communications solutions for clients," says Blane Walter, newly appointed president of inVentiv Health, the agency's holding company. A sample of the innovation Walter speaks of is the first-ever DTC campaign to be tied in with a major motion Hollywood production. GSW made "Happy Feet," a computer animated movie about penguins, part of a multi-channel campaign for the flu drug Tamiflu.


A red-letter year for the agency that saw new business, a slew of awards, and expansion in the form of another new office in Newtown, Penn. The main headquarters is outside Columbus, Ohio. GSW Worldwide is one of the largest healthcare advertising agencies in the world.

GSW Worldwide

500 Olde Worthington Rd. Westerville, OH 43082

T: 614-848-4848 • www.gsw-w.com



QUESTIONING THE POTENTIAL of e-pharma marketing? Temel, a full-service interactive healthcare agency offers these facts: 70 percent of consumers change the way they treat their illness because of information they saw online; 98 percent of US physicians are online and most change their prescribing behavior as a result of information they've reviewed and 95 million seek healthcare information on the Internet each day. Temel's own toolbox is filled with savvy and creative skill sets that enable them to actually change the way pharmaceutical and healthcare clients market their products online.


Clients include Reliant Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Cephalon, Envision, and others.


Temel, 716 Main St, Boonton, NJ 0005

T: 973-335-6298 • www.temel.com


Harrison and Star

THE AGENCY'S HOUSE ad is of a woman in a scarlet bustier with laces unraveling. Look again and you realize the laces resemble a strand of DNA. Promoting the agency's "Rx Appeal," the tagline reads "We Make Healthcare Sexy." Like it or loathe it, you can't deny it is a showstopper. "We celebrate our differential," says Marjorie Vincent, senior vice president and associate creative director, of the agency's reputation for professional advertising. It also has a reputation of being an agency's agency, respected by people in the industry as well as by clients. Listen to Scott Cotherman CEO of Corbett and Accel on the subject of his competitor Larry Star, CEO and chairman of Harrison and Star. "Larry has a great organization," says Cotherman. "I admire him enormously. He had the courage a few years ago to really look at what his agency was good at and what he liked to be good at and what his people enjoyed doing the most. I give Larry credit for having brilliantly scoped out the landscape. The areas he's concentrating on are the growth areas for the industry."


2006 was another record-breaking year for Larry Star's agency with new business wins and a record number of product launches that included Genentech's Avastin. Clients include, among others, Abbott Laboratories, Novartis Pharmaceutical, Organon, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Roche.

Harrison and Star

16 West 22nd St., New York, NY 10010

T:212-727-1330 • www.hs-ideas.com


Sudler & Hennessey

AN ALL-TOO familiar story was told to us by Louisa Holland, president of Sudler & Hennessey. The story was about a client who had come to them, wanting to re-launch a brand. Despite a promising new clinical trial, years of marketing had calcified the product in physicians' minds. Holland pointed out that in this day and age, all kinds of sophisticated marketing research tools exist to breathe life into the most lackluster of brands, and that Sudler & Hennessey has the deep resources to offer them to clients. This really is the point: The agency is big. And bigness as far as S&H is concerned means opportunity. The agency likes to point to the ampersand in their name as being a symbol for what they stand for. Quite simply: "We add more."


Services over 50 clients in divisions all across the United States. Some of those clients include: Abbott Laboratories, Amgen, Cyberonics, Shire Pharmaceuticals.

Sudler & Hennessey

230 Park Ave. South, New York, NY 10003 • T: 212-614-4100 • www.sudler.com


Chameleon Advertising and Marketing

THEY PRIDE THEMSELVES on creating innovative work that's crisp, eye-catching, and unique. "I attribute our success to three things," says Dan Thomas, the agency's head chameleon, founder, and president. "Developing a strong brand identity for the agency, operating a very lean yet fully equipped shop, and tailoring teams of senior professionals to suit our clients' needs." They work with large corporations, small companies, and non–profits communicating business–to–business or business–to–consumer. Their therapeutic expertise include cardiovascular, oncology, dermatology, hypertension, and others.


The agency is small but they offer their undivided attention as well as an utterly creative approach. Other services include: promotional and education programs directed at patients, physicians, pharmacists, and thought leaders; professional DTC and DTP advertising; direct marketing, brand, and interactive solutions.

Chameleon Marketing

4 Cambridge Way, East Widsor, NJ 08520

T: 609-448-0560 • www.chameleon-inc.com



THE STORY GOES that Peter Zamiska lied and told his mom he was a doctor. This was a job she could be proud of. A job she could brag about. A job she thought far more admirable and rewarding than his true occupation: spin master in the medical advertising world. Presumably, Peter Zamiska finally told his mother the truth, especially now that he has so much to be proud of. Zamiska is executive vice president and chief creative officer of the enormously successful CementWorks, an independent healthcare agency with a cool, and very memorable, name. Zamiska runs the agency along with brand meister Susan Miller, Rico Viray, and Edward Cowen. Their mothers can be proud of them, too. The agency is ranked 11 on Advertising Age's top healthcare agency list. In 2006, CementWorks made $14.1 million, an astounding 70 percent increase over 2005. It is celebrating its fifth anniversary as well as four straight years of expansion. How do they do it? Hard work, and intense focus. A major asset is the agency's involvement in launching Indigenus, a new global network of independent agencies that works together to create global brands. The network, covering 70 percent of the world's pharmaceutical market by value, puts Indigenus member agencies on equal footing with conglomerate-owned shops.


What can we say? They're successful. They're creative. They have a head for science and they are gifted brand-makers. Hey, they have a right to strut. Clients include Climara, Feverall, Imitrex, Kadian, Prezista, Malarone, and Spiriva.

The CementWorks

641 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10011

T:212-524-6200 • www.thecementworks.com

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