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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry
|Active business clients||7|
|Brands by 2013 sales|
|Brand-product accounts held||15|
|$100 million – $500 million||2|
|$1 billion or more||4|
Mead Johnson Nutritionals
Procter & Gamble
According to the leaders at Publicis Life Brands Medicus, it’s all about change. “We’ve seen a lot in the nearly four decades we’ve been around, but never more than right now, with the very nature of healthcare transforming on a daily basis,” executives say. “This makes many uneasy, but at Publicis Life Brands Medicus (PLBM), we believe comfort can be overrated. In fact, we push ourselves to look beyond the ordinary and familiar, to an unexpected place where we engage physicians in novel ways; forge innovative approaches that uncover deep insights; extend brands’ reach across borders like never before, and customize a new mix of talent to meet emerging needs.”
With Adrian Sansone, managing director, in his second year of leadership at PLBM, executives are equipped and ready to meet today’s client demands. “We welcome more change, because change – and the lack of comfort we feel with it – is the catalyst that propels our clients’ brands and employees’ careers to new levels,” according to management.
“If 2013 is anything to go by, we are excited about the possibilities of 2014 for Publicis Life Brands Medicus,” says Michael du Toit, president, Publicis Healthcare Communications Group. “With Adrian at the helm and an energetic and talented staff, we see ourselves doing great work for our clients.”
Several key leadership changes have been made. David Siflinger was appointed to finance director of PLBM. Daniel Hackett extended his role of director of human resources to PLBM. Hackett had already been in this role at Digitas Health and Medicus International – New York, and leaders believe this move will only strengthen collaboration among sister agencies.
“When they said ‘launch,’ we said ‘ready for takeoff,’” according to PLBM execs. Over the past year, PLBM was given the challenge to bring six brands to market. The agency is in the process of launching important therapies for AbbVie, Pfizer, BoehringerIngelheim, Daiichi Sankyo, and Sanofi, a combination of new clients and organic growth.
“There isn’t a greater compliment than having an existing client ask us to bring another one of their brands to the healthcare audience,” executives say.
To match the new business that came into the agency, new talent arrived as well. More than 50 new hires have joined PLBM over the last year; all integral toward the launches and maintaining existing businesses.
Accolades included three brands receiving Awards of Excellence through the Rx Club: Sanofi, for the “Company of the Year” Ad; Gilenya Global, for the “Neural Connections” Campaign; and AbbVie, for the Humira Global “Strike Deep” CVA.
Changes also took place in internal corporate culture. An internal events program, known as The Culture Club, was born. According to executives, the Culture Club has further unified the agency, enhanced employee relationships, and promoted the life (in work/life balance) every organization strives to achieve. Employee-led events, held monthly, included fitness and wellness activities, in-house social gatherings, the company holiday party, and even getting highly coveted New York City food trucks to set up shop outside the building. “Culture Club initiatives have positively impacted the agency, leading to renewed sense of collaboration and creativity,” executives say.
Executives say PLBM, as a full-service agency, inherently brings a lot to clients’ tables, but it’s the internal staffing structure that allows the agency’s work to make the greatest impression on clients. To ensure this high standard, PLBM carved out individual business teams. This alignment promotes agility, fluidity of shared resources, accountability, and ownership among all team members. The business team format “allows for more efficient deployment and utilization of resources,” according to Mark Reichman, senior VP group account director and business team lead who oversees the AbbVie business. “We’re able to offer our clients a tailored, personalized, concierge-style approach where all members of the business team servicing them are well-versed in their respective healthcare categories and brands.”
“The new business team structure empowered me to become the change I wanted to see for our agency,” says Robert Batista, senior VP group account director. “The new structure creates an environment of shared ownership and accountability for the overall business.” Batista is the business team lead for Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and Mead Johnson business.
“Our deep relationships and trust we build with clients are what lights a fire under everyone at PLBM,” executives say. “It’s why we made the decision to focus on organic growth to build our roster.”
By actively pursuing leads with existing clients, the agency received two brands each from Sanofi and Pfizer. “This is just the beginning on our path to even greater organic growth,” executives say.
The agency also acknowledges the need for high-caliber talent. PLBM has made a commitment to put its talent first, saying employees are the heart of the organization. “Every day we look to create a workplace where employees feel challenged,” executives say. “At PLBM, employees’ skills are not just valued; they are grown and groomed by constantly pushing our people to be their best.”
Later in 2014, PLBM will be moving its office location and operations. “Our upcoming move brings excitement, anticipation, and a renewed energy that everyone can look forward to,” executives say.
In 2013, PLBM continued its charitable efforts supporting Bark for Life, a division of Relay for Life of the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. Many employees offered their time to generate high quality pro-bono work for these campaigns. Additionally, PLBM formed a team to participate in the annual American Heart Association, Heart Walk through Lower Manhattan, in conjunction with a Publicis Healthcare Communications Group initiative that continually supports the American Heart Association.
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