Huntsworth adds Giant Creative Strategy to Evoke Group
Huntsworth Plc., the parent company of the Evoke Group of health and wellness marketing companies, made a major move in July by acquiring Giant Creative Strategy, the largest healthcare agency on the West Coast. According to executives, the acquisition adds depth to the group’s professional advertising, multichannel marketing, and analytics capabilities.
Giant is a full-service creative healthcare agency focused on healthcare professional and multi-channel marketing, backed by a robust data and analytics offering.
“Clients continue to look for opportunities to work with fewer agency partners on larger remits – consolidating business to those with proven and differentiated credentials and expertise in all key brand areas,” says Reid Connolly, CEO of Evoke Group. “Evoke has built our offering to accommodate this market shift and the addition of Giant adds an even more robust and differentiated HCP marketing offering to the group, as well as expanded geographic reach.”
Founded in 2002, Giant is led by CEO Steven Gold and President Adam Gelling – both of whom will remain with the business and join the Evoke Group executive leadership team, reporting to Connolly.
“With 150 expert staff and a roster of premier biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic clients, Giant brings with them the reputation of one of the most progressive and trusted healthcare agencies in the market today,” Connolly says. “Everything about the market is more complex today – the science, the commercialization process, the contracting and selling relationships. Not every agency is prepared to guide clients through these challenges. Steven, Adam, and the team at Giant are one of the groups out there that truly understand what it takes to be successful in today’s ever-changing healthcare landscape and we’re excited to have them be a part of the Evoke team.”
“Reid and the Evoke team have built one of the most formidable agencies and agency groups in the marketing and communications sector,” Gold says. “They’ve been on the forefront of digital since pharma embraced it. They’ve established one of the most successful DTC practices in the market today, a rapidly growing market access group, and an HCP portfolio that combined with our own is really one of the more impressive in the space. I could not be happier to work closely with Evoke, to grow our business both in the U.S. and globally and also provide our clients with new and expanded offerings.”
In additional Evoke news, during June Marci Piasecki – an industry veteran with more than 30 years of healthcare advertising experience – joined Evoke Health as a member of the agency’s executive leadership team.
As managing director of Evoke Health’s New York and Los Angeles offices, Piasecki is responsible for multiple pharmaceutical, biotech, and device clients around the globe, while growing and developing the teams that deliver the high level of service the agency is known for.
“Evoke shares my values and my belief that this is a people-first business,” Piasecki says. “It’s what attracted me to this position.
“Evoke builds deep relationships with clients and has a real commitment to the people who work here. And the focus on people is not just talk – Evoke’s ‘health more human’ mantra is a guiding principle for all that we do, reminding everyone that at the end of the day, this work is all about the patients, professionals, payers, and all the other people we communicate with.”
According to Piasecki, she had been aware of Evoke for many years before joining the agency. “They have a great reputation and I’ve watched them grow to become a leader in this industry while doing things their own way,” she says.
Previously, Piasecki led agencies at McCann Health for more than a decade, before being named the first female president of GSW North America in August 2014. Executives say in each of these past positions, she helped bring in new clients and talent through her ability to understand the evolving business challenges within the healthcare industry.
According to Chief Operating Officer Heather Torak, “That total package of industry experience – including deep roots in healthcare and HCP marketing – combined with her passion for client service and building strong teams is what drew us to Marci.”
Piasecki says she is excited about her position at Evoke. “I’m perfectly positioned to work with clients as well as internal staff,” she says. “It’s the ideal role for me to focus on my experience and passion for growth and development.”
Piasecki was the right fit for the agency and the culture, according to Connolly. “Marci embodies everything we strive to be at Evoke,” he says. “She is positive, enthusiastic, and truly excited about the impact she will make with our teams and on our clients’ business. We’re excited to have her on board and to see how she will continue to influence the ways in which the best relationships are built and maintained.”