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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Giant Creative/Strategy LLC 2014

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

1700 Montgomery Street, Suite 485
San Francisco, CA 94111
Telephone: 415-655-5200
Facsimile: 415-655-5201



Quick Facts

Account wins 14
Accounts resigned 1
Active business clients 18
Brands by 2013 sales  
Brand-product accounts held 23
$25 million or less 4
$25 million – $50 million 1
$50 million – $100 million 3
$100 million – $500 million 5
$1 billion or more 1
Services Mix  
Fully integrated professional and consumer communications 100%

Client List

Actelion Pharmaceuticals US
Boston Scientific
Edwards Lifesciences
Gilead Sciences
Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association
Onyx Pharmaceuticals
Seattle Genetics
Silvergate Pharmaceuticals

After winning Agency of the Year in 2013, Giant continued its record of strong growth. Executives say the agency saw revenue increase nearly 40 percent, increased full-time staff to nearly 170, significantly expanded its footprint, and welcomed many new brands and clients to the Giant family.

As the largest independent healthcare communications agency on the West Coast, Giant has built and solidified relationships with a who’s who of today’s leading and emerging healthcare companies.

The Year’s Accomplishments

In 2013 Giant expanded its agency of record relationship with several clients. For Genentech, the agency pitched and won Activase and Oral Octreotide, while also being named an agency partner for key strategic corporate initiatives. Shire significantly expanded its relationship with Giant, which now includes the agency of record assignment for Vyvanse ADHD. Long-standing client Actelion Pharmaceuticals assigned Giant its latest brand acquisition, Valchlor, and also expanded its partnership on Opsumit to include digital detailing. Additionally, Depomed named Giant the agency of record for Lazanda.

Giant added InterMune as a new client in 2013, pitching and winning the U.S. launch for Esbriet, along with several disease state and global initiatives. The agency also began partnerships with Clene Nanomedicine, an emerging drug development company, and the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. Rounding out the year’s wins were key assignments from new client partners, including AstraZeneca, Seattle Genetics, and the Cancer Research Institute.

According to agency leaders, Giant also had an incredibly busy year launching or relaunching several brands and initiatives. The agency led the successful launch of Opsumit, along with Actelion’s first entry into oncology, Valchlor. For EdwardsLifesciences, Giant launched the SAPIEN 3 transcatheter heart valve in the European Union along with a major DSE initiative in the European Union and United States. Giant led a successful integrated healthcare professional campaign and large-scale DTC relaunch for Boston Scientific’s Bronchial Thermoplasty, delivered by the Alair system. Giant also launched Epaned in pediatric hypertension for Silvergate, and relaunchedGralise in neuropathic pain for Depomed.

With all of the new brands and partnerships, Giant’s growth and success was also fueled by key initiatives for several mainstay client partners. Giant played an instrumental role in helping partners Astellas and Medivation establish Xtandi in its first full year in the highly competitive prostate cancer market. Giant oversaw a record growth year for Lucentis, marketed for multiple indications by Genentech, and also developed a multimedia DTC campaign aimed at preventing vision loss from diabetes. The agency delivered on many integrated brand initiatives for Gilead Sciences’ Ranexa, Amgen’s GCS-F franchise (and newly acquired Onyx Pharmaceuticals), Actelion’s PAH franchise, and Neutrogena’s line of professionally promoted dermatologics.

Giant added talent across all departments and all areas of expertise in 2013 and during early 2014. Notable additions to the Giant senior leadership team include: Christine Armstrong, senior VP, managing director, brand experience; Kevin Stokes, senior VP, creative director; Van Eiseman, VP, director of technology; Janet Vennari, VP, management supervisor; Angela Busa, VP, management supervisor; Jodi Alden, VP, management supervisor; Tara D’Andrea, VP, management supervisor: and Christina Yu, media director. In 2013 Giant also promoted AlyseSukalski, longtime senior VP of operations, to managing partner.

This past year, Giant completed an office expansion in its waterfront building, and has already begun securing additional space for future growth. Giant now has on-the-ground personnel on the East Coast, in Southern California, and in the Midwest. Management expects its footprint to expand even more during 2014.

Leadership says Giant’s work was recognized by all of the major industry award shows in 2013, including The Globals, the Rx Club, MM&M, The Webbys, and the Mannys.

Structure And Services

Giant is an independent, full-service, and fully integrated agency built around the clients’ business. The agency remains horizontally structured, with every client team staffed with senior-level strategic and creative talent. According to agency leaders, this model ensures maximum productivity and efficiency by putting the most experienced people on the front lines with clients every day.

“As the West Coast’s leading healthcare firm, Giant has established itself as a fully integrated agency partner delivering high-end strategy as well as on-the-ground execution cross channel, cross platform, and cross audience,” executives note. They add that the agency is now recognized as an industry leader in Veeva CLM content creation, including custom solutions that maximize the iRep platform in the field and in the home office. Giant is currently partnering with many of its clients, including Astellas, Neutrogena, Shire, Actelion, AstraZeneca, Seattle Genetics, and Depomed on Veeva-based programs. The agency has developed a number of first-in-class, custom software products using existing, and soon-to-be-released Veeva platforms.

Future Plans

“2013 was an extraordinary year for Giant, stepping to the forefront of industry leadership,” executives say. “Now in its 12th year, Giant forecasts significant growth in 2014 with more and more ground-breaking work being deployed through digital and interactive channels. The goal for 2014 is to continue to provide client partners with Giant strategic and creative ideas, Giant execution, and Giant results.”


Executives say Giant has always contributed significant time and dollars to causes close to its staff and clients. Of special note in 2013 was the agency’s support of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, the Scleroderma Foundation, Autism Speaks, prostate and testicular cancer initiatives, Make-a-wish, and the Bay Area Video Coalition. The agency also continued its long-standing sponsorship and active participation in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. Giant rounded out a year of giving by forgoing holiday gifts and instead producing a Health, Happiness, and Hope in 2014 video campaign that included sizeable donations to local children’s charities, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Children’s HeartLink, and Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco.

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