Friday, July 20, 2007

Medical Marketing & Media announces "The Top 50 Healthcare Agencies" ... Ignite Health Featured

The Top 50: Ignite Health
by Tanya Lewis // Medical Marketing & Media (July 01, 2007)

Ignite Health's revenue soared 36% last year (from $11 million to $15 million), and staff increased from 65 to 70.

"It was a year of transformation for the agency and the industry," says Fabio Gratton, co-founder and chief innovation officer.

He explains that increased DTC scrutiny has created a "dramatic shift" in target audience communication. "It's a consumer-centric world and the industry needs to participate in dialogue," he says. "People are just struggling with how to do that. Being in the interactive space, it's easier to narrow cast to a very targeted audience. For us to leverage those opportunities is tremendous. The internet allows for a more comprehensive dialogue—more information, video, fair balance. It's becoming a vehicle to provide more complete stories to audiences. And, the needle is moving in terms of disease education. It's not just product promotion, but communicating a comprehensive well-being story. It's putting therapies in a context."

InVentiv Health acquired the agency in March 2007, thus broadening reach and capability. "We wanted to apply our model to a wider swath of clients," Gratton says. "InVentiv is entrepreneurial and believes in innovation and in letting you maintain your culture while expanding horizons. We're seeing a new world of opportunity and people that we didn't have access to before. Global opportunities are abundant. It's like being a kid in a candy store, to be honest."

Ignite won more than 10 assignments last year, and re-signed three. Wins included Atripla (HIV) from Gilead Sciences/Bristol-Myers Squibb; Bayer's Kogenate FS (hemophilia); epilepsy treatment Vigabatrin from Ovation Pharma; GPC Biotech's Satraplatin (prostate cancer); Valeant's Zelapar (Parkinson's disease); and ovarian cancer products from Telik. Lilly awarded Ignite Cialis, Xigris and Arxxant.    "If we can get clients thinking about their problem and not about the tactic, it allows the agency [to] address the issue from a variety of viewpoints," Gratton says. "It's a trend we'll see more and more, especially as people become more cost conscious and consolidate. The agency of the future can't just be one thing and not have a connection to more capabilities."

Ignite seeks talent with varied skills and perspectives.  A hand animator was brought in from Russia. Film school graduates are nice candidates as they have technology and storytelling skills. "Diversity brings innovation," Gratton says. "It allows us to experiment with different ways of communicating."

Last year Ignite launched Incendia Health Studios, a separate company that focuses on disease states rather than products. "Its purpose is to create communities around disease states," Gratton says. "Consumers want more dialogue and transparency. The industry isn't stupid. They see it, but they have handcuffs. Incendia meets demand for two-way dialogue. Pharma companies have opportunity to advertise or sponsor without interfering or having content responsibility."

(From the July 01, 2007 Issue of Medical Marketing & Media)

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The National Lottery

The National Lottery
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Recent "Chief Digital Officer" appointments

Rapp Collins' Pomeranz Joins Growing CDO Ranksby Gavin O'Malley, Friday, Jul 20, 2007 6:00 AM ETRAPP

COLLINS WORLDWIDE, OMNICOM'S DIRECT-MARKETING agency, has named Ricardo Pomeranz global chief digital officer, reporting directly to Gary VonKennel, Rapp Collins global CEO.  Along with his existing duties as president and partner of Rapp Digital--a division of Rapp Collins Brazil founded in 2000--Pomeranz will now crisscross the globe in search of digital talent to lead the agency into the 21st century. "I will spend a lot more time on a plane," joked Pomeranz in reference to Rapp Collins' network of more than 50 offices in 30 countries worldwide. "We're looking to build a team with digital expertise from around the world, and aggregate the best resources into one vision for the future of the agency." Although Pomeranz admits there is plenty of work to be done, he insists that no agency has yet taken a clear digital lead.

"The communication model is taking another form, with customers talking instead of being talked to," he said. "No one is addressing this issue of managing these new relationships properly." At least on the surface, one sign that agencies are addressing such issues is the recent rash in chief digital officer appointments.

This ostensibly new breed of executive is being asked to bring together once disparate interactive initiatives, and then to integrate that broader digital strategy into their agencies' core principles.

In May, Havas' Arnold bestowed the fashionable title upon Jonathan Sackett, who had previously served as senior vice president and director of digital operations at Interpublic Group's DraftFCB in Chicago. Also that month, Young & Rubicam named Tarik Sedky to the CDO position of a new interactive division. In April, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners picked up Tribal DDB executive Mike Parker as its director of digital strategy, while Jean-Philippe Maheu, the one-time chief executive of Razorfish, was named CDO of WPP Group's Ogilvy North America. Late last year, Wieden + Kennedy brought on Renny Gleeson as its global director of digital strategies. Gleeson came over from Carat Fusion in New York, where he served as senior vice president, managing director.

Gavin O'Malley can be reached at

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Two Omnicom Networks Strengthen Digital Leadership

Two Omnicom Networks Strengthen Digital Leadership

Finnegan to Head OMG Digital; Rapp Collins Names Pomeranz Global Chief Digital Officer

NEW YORK ( -- Omnicom Group is cranking up its global digital offerings with the emergence of new digital leaders within two of its companies. Sean Finnegan is leaving his post as U.S. director of digital at OMD to become the CEO of Omnicom Media Group Digital, a new unit within the group that oversees all of Omnicom's media entities, such as OMD, PHD and Fuse Sports & Entertainment. Meanwhile, Omnicom's direct-marketing agency, Rapp Collins Worldwide, has named Ricardo Pomeranz global chief digital officer.


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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Big Pharma Goes Viral

Big Pharma Goes Viral

Published by Francis
July 17, 2007

It looks like Bayer has made the first real move into the viral space by any of the Big Pharma companies. They've built an interactive online game "sponsored by Aleve" that appears to be geared toward the social networking demographic - who are much younger than the traditional Aleve demo (50+ with arthritis) .

"[To] attract a younger customer, the consumer care division of Bayer HealthCare is starting an online game today for Aleve Liquid Gels, a product that was introduced in March. By visiting a Web site,, Internet users will be able to follow a fictional storyline that leads them through a series of clues, taking them in and out of social networking sites, wikis and blogs. (source: nyt)"

Upon completion, the user gets a mild product placement for Aleve and the news that Bayer will donate $5 to The Conservation Fund for every person that completes the game; thus encouraging viral spread without pandering.

Although the game is ridiculously easy (which may lessen its viral appeal) when compared to viral time burners like The Search For Bourne  and Ethan Haas was right , it shows that Big Pharma may be ready to get into the social media game. The question is: are the younger and more savvy (read:Web 2.0) consumers ready to join the social conversation with Big Pharma?

Feel free to weigh-in, in the comments.

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