BBDO launches into growing healthcare ad market
NEW YORK - BBDO New York, part of the Omnicom Group, somewhat later than its rivals has launched a new division to handle direct-to-consumer advertising for the healthcare industry, which is one of the few growth areas left in advertising.
The healthcare ad market is being boosted by pharmaceutical companies spending millions to promote their products via television and print advertising in mainstream media, rather than solely targeting the medical profession.
Fellow Omnicom agency TBWA\ launched a healthcare network TBWA\WorldHealth in April last year, while Grey Global recently expanded its healthcare offering with the launch of a new branding and consulting arm, called Brand Care, for its Grey Healthcare Group healthcare division.
Ogilvy & Mather, part of the WPP Group, strengthened its healthcare business with the integration of the PR agency Shire Health Group into its healthcare advertising, direct marketing and public relations business.
BBDO's division will be headed by Ann Devereux, who joins as president of BBDO Health Work. She was previously president and founder of Consumer Healthworks, one of the first agencies specialising in direct-to-consumer advertising. She reports to Andrew Robertson, president of BBDO Worldwide.
BBDO Health Work will be based in New York, but will draw on the resources of the agency's worldwide network, including direct marketing, online, customer relationship management and public relations. The company envisages it becoming a global operation.
Devereux said it was the ideal time to launch such an agency. "If you look at current trends, there were only half the number of new entities submitted to the Food & Drug Administration for approval in 2002. As a result, there will be fewer new products launched over the next few years. This will put considerably more pressure on current compounds and those new products to succeed," she said.
Robertson said: "I will disappointed if we can't show evidence of growth within six months."
BBDO Worldwide is part of the Omnicom Group and is the third-largest global advertising network. Health brands it works on include Alka-Seltzer, Bayer, Aspirin, Lubriderm and Rogaine.
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