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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry
Flashpoint Medica LLC
158 West 29th Street
New York, NY 10001
Account wins 8
Active business clients 13
Brands by 2015 sales
Brand product accounts held 17
$25 million or less 4
$25 million to $50 million 4
$50 million to $100 million 2
$100 million to $500 million 2
$500 million to $1 billion 1
$1 billion or more 4
Number of products yet to be approved/launched: 3
Record-breaking new business success, coupled with organic growth, was the hallmark of the past year at Flashpoint Medica, according to agency leaders. The specialty-focused agency experienced 25 percent growth for the greater part of 2015, with an additional 25 percent achieved at the end of 2015, thus reaching an amazing total of 50 percent growth since 2014.
“We have a lot of ‘new’ this past year, creating a sense of excitement for the agency – from the huge new business wins, 30 new employees, new product launches, new creative leadership, new agency campaign, space renovations, expanded digital staff, and emphasis on a culture of coaching,” says Charlene Prounis, CEO and founding partner. “We even made brave decisions to turn down multiple pitches so we could concentrate on current clients and a few select pitches – and it’s made all the difference.”
The year’s accomplishments
On the new business front, executives say Flashpoint Medica was “on fire” with its organic growth and its “impressive” 65 percent pitch/win rate for the year, landing when new large accounts. Explaining all this rapid growth, Helen Appelbaum, one of the founding partners of Flashpoint, says, “It’s the caliber of people that come together. We bring big thinkers together in a dynamic, collaborative, entrepreneurial environment where people feel encouraged to be their best.”
Flashpoint pushed its business further west with an Amgen win in the migraine category. Flashpoint also further expanded its oncology portfolio, adding a product launch in ovarian cancer for Clovis Oncology and winning new business with Tafinlar + Mekinist and Tykerb from Novartis through organic growth. With its human growth hormone franchise, Pfizer was also added to the large blue-chip roster at Flashpoint.
Flashpoint expanded its business with American Regent/Daiichi Sankyo by turning its campaign for Injectafer, an I.V. iron agent for iron deficiency anemia, into a full AOR account. The agency also won work from Fidia Pharma USA for the U.S. launch of Hymovis, an agent to treat arthritis of the knee. And Galderma awarded a large innovative project to Flashpoint to drive sales of Soolantra for rosacea.
Flashpoint globally launched a new indication in polycythemia vera for Novartis’ Jakavi, which included an award-winning disease education campaign. According to agency leaders, the brand took off and exceeded the forecast and is now one of Novartis’ top agents for growth.
For Galderma, Flashpoint created the Soolantra Experience Trial, based on leveraging popular consumer programs like the “Birch Box.” To date, the program has been exceptionally well-received by the sales force, executives say.
Flashpoint is also the HCP AOR for Celgene’s Abraxane. The collaboration between the agency and client served as the foundation for several breakthrough efforts, such as furthering the expression of Celgene’s commitment to leadership in pancreatic cancer with wallscape-size panels and door wraps at ASCO GI.
Executives say Flashpoint continued its winning streak in creative awards, receiving the top awards in best disease education ads for its work on polycythemia vera for Novartis; best interactive ad for the Ampyra campaign for Acorda; and best self-promotion ads; plus other honors.
Agency leaders say Flashpoint has now become a growing hot spot for top-notch talent. “We have to make sure we have the right talent, and so our recruitment process is quite selective, even in this tight job market,” Prounis says.
Structures and services
Boasting a seasoned and veteran senior leadership team, Flashpoint ensures employees have career growth opportunities. “With Flashpoint’s focus on professional development comes the promotion of internal talent – and indeed the creative leadership team at Flashpoint flourished and was promoted from within,” executives say.
“During this sizzling year of growth, things continued to heat up at Flashpoint West, the agency’s West Coast counterpart,” executive say. Based in San Francisco, Flashpoint West doubled in size during 2015.
Throughout 2015, Flashpoint also brought change to its internal organization. “Flashpoint is a company where people thrive, not just ideas, and the leadership team is committed to fostering a culture of continued learning and an environment of collaboration,” executives say. “To promote engagement across teams and disciplines, Flashpoint convenes regular professional training and mentorship events for employees to achieve professional and personal goals.”
In 2015, Flashpoint celebrated its 10th anniversary. According to executives, with this milestone, the agency decided to evolve its internal campaign by returning to its roots, and leveraged its namesake and hallmark in the industry: the ability to create flashpoints, to inspire those critical points with disruptive strategies, breakthrough creative, and novel multichannel programs.
The agency carries out change through its strategy of bringing people together, as befits an agency with the mantra, “Big thinkers think better together,” executives say, adding that Flashpoint leaders encourage the staff to come together to solve problems. The agency also brings in outside “big thinkers” to share new perspectives.
Flashpoint leaders say they plan to manage the agency’s growth and bring in the right people to continue the successes of 2015. “Because Flashpoint is about its people, it will continue to emphasize the need to strengthen its collaborative culture and provide internal training for its employees, especially on the digital front,” executives say.
According to executives, integral to Flashpoint’s culture is the tenet that corporate citizens have a responsibility to give back to the community. Flashpoint supports The Jed Foundation, a national organization promoting mental health and suicide prevention among college students. And once again, Flashpoint teamed up with the Family Reach Foundation in 2015 to bring holiday cheer to families with children who are battling cancer. The agency also supports the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Gilda’s Club New York City, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The agency continues to play a leadership role in supporting the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame and organizing several educational initiatives, including the “Young Executive Night Out” educational seminars and the increasingly popular “View from the Top” dinner events.
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