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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Neon 2014

Written by: | | Dated: Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

1400 Broadway
New York, NY 10018
Telephone: 212-727-5600


Heart Award

Quick Facts

Account wins 6
Account losses 10
Active business clients 9
Brands by 2013 sales  
Brand-product accounts held 16
Services Mix  
Professional advertising 50%
Managed care 15%
Medical education 7%
Media planning 3%

Client Roster

BoehringerIngelheim Pharmaceuticals
Gilead Sciences
United Therapeutics

2013 was a year “that closely resembled some of our brands’ PK curves, complete with many peaks and some troughs,” according to executives at Neon. The peaks included two “phenomenal” launches. First was the highly accelerated launch of Quillivant XR for Pfizer, a launch with a time frame of seven months from the day of the win to when materials were successfully in the field. This was followed by the “hugely successful” launch of Invokana for Janssen, the first-in-class SGLT2 inhibitor for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. market. “Invokana was a launch four years in the making, and seeing this brand finally come to life and fully realize its potential set us on a path of excitement for 2013,” Neon leaders say.

But, as with any business, there were also some unexpected troughs, executives note. The agency’s biggest challenge was the business lost due to a holding company consolidation with the realignment of four Pfizer brands; Elelyso, Nicotrol, Relpax, and Quillivant XR. “We needed to accelerate our new business efforts so that our tremendous talent was not affected and could quickly become redeployed on exciting new opportunities,” executives comment. “So started our relentless pursuit of new clients in new categories and concentration on organic growth. By the end of 2013, we had successfully doubled our client roster, resulting in greater client diversification.” New clients added to the roster include Covis, Meda, Novartis, UnitedTherapeutics, and Zogenix, covering categories such as pain management, allergy, dermatology, and rare diseases.

“Since many of these wins were for product launches, expect incredible creative work and innovative ideas in 2014 as well!” executives say.

The Year’s Accomplishments

According to the agency’s leaders, the homegrown Neon culture of strength, intelligence, and passion delivered an abundance of new strategic and creative opportunities with partners invested in bringing new and meaningful solutions to the people who need them. “We are proud to say that our clients want to change the world with their brands and even prouder to stand with them and help them realize their goals,” managers say. “We will achieve great things with them by living and breathing our founding philosophy of always creating work that is awesome – by finding awesome clients, creating awesome brands, creating awesome teams, and promoting truly awesome relationships, everywhere that we can, and at every turn.”

Executives say Neon’s success is not just predicated on the clients; it is also fundamentally aligned with the agency’s culture, with who is hired, how they work, and the way everyone lives.

“2013 saw a complete rebirth and transformation of Neon, quite literally from the ground up,” executives remark. “When our lease in SoHo expired, the investment was made in a newly constructed 36,000-square-foot space in midtown Manhattan. The new space has had a tremendous impact on our culture and the way we work. It has elevated our sense of collaboration and open communication, and reinvigorated every employee. Neon didn’t just move – we arrived. It was a new beginning, and a reimagination of what a tight-knit, like-minded community of awesome people can accomplish in the face of adversity.”

According to execs, this type of success through adversity actually makes an agency stronger and solidifies the core talent throughout. “Not that we would ever want to go through a year like that again, but every Neon employee stepped up and demonstrated loyalty, commitment, and dedication to making Neon stronger and more resilient than ever before,” management says. “We welcome 2014 and know that Neon will always thrive due to our unified sense of purpose. Onward, upward – 2014 bring it on!”

Structure And Services

With greater agency diversification and a burgeoning client roster, executives say Neon will continue to deliver complete strategic innovations, from account planning and medical insights through analytics and flawless execution.

“We have been able to incubate a true multichannel mentality across professional, disease state, and patient audiences,” leaders say. “We are the quintessential integrated agency, founded on the principles of delivering, measuring, and monitoring unparalleled creative and strategic thinking. Neon will continue to deliver for our new as well as our in-line clients, with two product launches looming in 2014, as well as a host of brand campaign updates and groundbreaking initiatives for all. The work ahead is set for success thanks to our foundation of commitment, talent, community, and passion for great work.”

Future Plans

“With many rapid-fire launches under our belts and on the horizon, the future for Neon promises to be extremely exciting and fast paced, “ executives say. “Just the way we like it.”

With two new-business brand launches for 2014 – Zohydro ER for chronic pain management and Orenitram for treating PAH, “we are designed to deliver and execute seamlessly,” managers comment. “Neon thrives on challenges and it’s evident based on the work we’ve put into winning new business while still intensely focused on our existing clients. In addition to these launches, we have experienced organic growth from our longer-term client base that includes DTC to accelerate the urgency for patient populations to seek treatment. We are rich with opportunity to deliver exemplary work from a strategic, creative, and tactical perspective. So our goals are clear: Deliver, deliver, deliver, and do so with unprecedented success.”

Beyond its current work, the agency is continuing to add to its talent pool. The employee base has grown with additional talent across all departments. “The life force of the Neon brand is built on our teams’ talent, drive, passion, and intellect, and we continue to look for new talent that can help increase the impact our clients’ brands can have,” executives say.


Neon’s partnership with the Alpha-1 Foundation started because of one client’s commitment to healing the devastating disease of alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency – Grifols, with its Prolastin-C therapy.

Each year the NASCAR Foundation nominates five individuals who have made a profound impact on children in their community for a $100,000 grant to the charity these individuals support. The winner is determined by online voting. Neon partnered with the Alpha-1 Foundation and its nominee Richard Johnson, who is committed to finding a cure to this deficiency for his two children. Johnson and the team at Neon launched a social media blitz, a Website, a temporary makeover for the Alpha-1 Foundation homepage, and a grassroots effort within Johnson’s community to help get out the word, and the vote, for this important cause.

“In addition we assembled a team to participate in ‘Escape to the Cape,’ a three-day, 165-mile trek up and down the coast of Cape Cod,” executives say. “There we rode side by side with clients and families affected by this disease, who inspired us all during each grueling, rainy, freezing mile. True teamwork, the heart of our Neon culture, at its finest!”

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