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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Harrison and Star LLC 2014

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

75 Varick Street
New York, NY 10013
Telephone: 212-727-1330
Facsimile: 212-822-6590

Services Mix  
Advertising 55%
Digital 40%
CRM 5%

Client Roster           

Bausch and Lomb
Bayer HealthCare Consumer Care
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals
Cardinal Health
Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Infectious Diseases
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Oncology
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Ophthalmic
Roche Pharmaceuticals
Teva Neuroscience

Specialize. That’s what every doctor is told by someone while in medical school. Executives say Harrison and Star has taken that advice to heart, becoming the world’s largest and most successful agency focused on communicating with medical specialists.

In the past year, Harrison and Star has enhanced its specialty focus offerings for healthcare companies. As a result, the agency won major new accounts with Gilead, Genentech, Eisai, Roche, and Vanda Pharmaceuticals.

“We never lose our focus,” says Ty Curran, chairman and CEO of Harrison and Star. “We committed our business to developing the widest range of global communication services for our clients with specialist brands. And we’ve done that. That’s why we keep winning.”

Mardene Miller, president of Harrison and Star, adds, “We never stand still, either. We made some significant changes this year and added some very innovative technologies and services. The world of healthcare is not what it was just three or four years ago. We’re leading the ongoing revolution in communications.”

Genentech, Novartis, Roche, Bayer, and Teva Pharmaceuticals all remain as major clients. All have brands that are regarded as major innovations by specialists. “We launched Avastin 10 years ago,” Curran says. “It is still regarded as one of the most innovative agents in oncology. Why? I like to think it is partly because of the great work we’ve done.”

The Year’s Accomplishments

The global business showed strong growth trends in the past year. The agency opened a new office in London, headed by Kirsten Kantak, to handle EU-based clients. This followed the opening of an office in Paris the year before, plus strong affiliations through the Omnicom global network in China, Japan, India, and South America.

“We have people who are born innovators,” Miller says. “That’s who we look for in new talent and that’s what we do for our clients – innovate.”

In that spirit, executives say, Harrison and Star continues to invest heavily in training and fosters an agency-wide culture of digital training and mentoring, with the understanding that as individuals grow in their careers, so too does the business. In addition, the agency has significantly expanded its strategic department and added Brian Lefkowitz as a new executive creative director. Lefkowitz has extensive digital and consumer experience. Executives say Harrison and Star developed numerous award-winning digital creative programs for clients in the past year, including programs with responsive mobile design.

The new business victories included idelalasib, a novel therapy for leukemias being developed by Gilead; cobimetinib, a new agent being developed by Roche and Genentech for melanoma; and Halaven, a chemotherapy for breast cancer from Eisai.

Harrison and Star also added the Family Reach Foundation to its roster of pro bono clients. The Family Reach Foundation is the only charitable organization that raises and distributes funds to families who are under financial duress due to the costs of cancer care for a family member. Curran is on the foundation’s board of directors.

Structure And Services

Harrison and Star is the single largest communications company in the Medical Specialists Communications Group (MSCG). Harrison and Star has its main office in New York, and branch offices in London, Paris, and San Francisco. MSCG also includes Biolumina, an agency that, like Harrison and Star, focuses on brands marketed to medical specialists. Both are part of Omnicom Group.

Curran is chairman and CEO and Miller is president of Harrison and Star. Kantak leads global teams from the office in London. Kevin McShane is chief creative officer, Lefkowitz is executive creative director, and Mario Muredda and Laura MacSwan are key managing directors. Dan Daley and Michael Norkin are senior creative directors. Charles Doomany is chief financial and operating officer. The rapidly expanding Strategy group, which now includes Strategic Planning, Medical Direction, Digital Strategy, and CRM, is led by Brian Robinson. Robert Gemignani is the director of human resources and Bill Major is the director of agency excellence.

According to its leaders, the agency offers a full range of services to help companies market their brands to medical specialists, including advertising, branding, strategic planning, digital and interactive services, non-CME medical education, CRM, and market research. “All research and promotion are guided by the agency’s unique branding and strategic development process, which is informed by deep insight and experience with medical specialists and high-science brands,” executives say.

Future Plans

“As the business of pharmaceutical marketing becomes more global, Harrison and Star is there,” executives say. “The opening of the London office is a major commitment to the growing EU business of the agency. Intensive in-house training in all aspects of digital creativity and strategy are ongoing, and so is Harrison and Star’s unique mentoring and manager training programs that help employees’ personal growth while advancing their careers at the agency. Harrison and Star’s highly specialized strategic and creative firepower, coupled with its leading technology offerings, poise the agency for continued growth and success in 2014.”


In addition to its new relationship with the Family Reach Foundation, Harrison and Star continues to sponsor many charitable and planet-conscious initiatives, agency leaders say. One of these is Caring Hands, a program that enables agency personnel to volunteer their time and efforts to help a wide range of charities and advocacy programs. The GHS initiative is an aggressive “green” program that has helped transform the business into one that is much more environmentally sensitive. For many years, the agency has done pro bono promotional work for the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, an HIV social services organization in New Jersey, as well as additional fundraising for disease states that are directly related to the brands Harrison and Star promotes.

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