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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

IPG brings ICC agencies into FCB Health

Written by: | | Dated: Thursday, March 5th, 2015

On Tuesday, global advertising agency network Interpublic Group announced that it was taking the ICC Lowe healthcare advertising agencies – ICC, Trio, and Pace – and folding them into the FCB Healthcare network. According to IPG executives, the consolidation “aims to further boost the offering to those major healthcare marketers as well as provide enhanced offerings to those clients unique to ICC.”

This is not a totally unprecedented move in the industry – as clients are looking for companies that can handle global business, holding companies such as IPG are trying to figure out to meet their needs as well as maximize their own resources. Before the consolidation, IPG had three networks focused on health: FCB Heath, ICC Lowe, and McCann Health. While the latter focuses more on the consumer health and wellness market, the two other networks have agencies that mostly focus on healthcare professionals (FCB Health has Area 23, Neon, and FCB Health). Both FCB Health and ICC share clients including J&J, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis and Actavis.

Post consolidation, FCB Health will have about 1,600 employees globally.

“It’s so important that when you go into these holding company consolidations, you have very, very strong agencies to put forth,” says Dana Maiman, CEO of FCB Health. “So it makes a lot of sense, from a holding company standpoint, to resource to, and put everything behind, two global networks, rather than have three and rather sporadically or intermittently be able to resource all three, this way we can really focus on making these two [FCB Health and McCann Health] the strongest.”

The new names of the ICC agencies are still being debated, but will probably be known along the same lines as Area 23 or Neon – “Area 23, an FCB Health company.”

There are no plans to eliminate any of the ICC agencies, Maiman says. “At the same time, of course when you start working with any new agency or company, we are going to assess the different agencies and see – does having three make sense, does having two make sense, or does having four in New Jersey make sense?” she says. “But the takeaway here is that we feel New Jersey presence here is essential and something that we are really excited about having.” ICC, Trio, and Pace are located in Parsippany, N.J., while FCB Healthcare, Area 23, and Neon are located in Manhattan.

Though the leadership of the individual agencies is expected to stay in place, Steve Viviano, CEO of ICC Lowe who has been with the agency 22 years, and Frank Galella, chief operating and financial officer, who has been there since 1999, will be moving on, Maiman says.

Viviano will be around long enough to ensure a smooth transition, Maiman says. “The transition period will be months; not days, not weeks,” Maiman says. “But again, since Steve and I have such a long history together, he’s certainly going to be available whenever we need him.”
There was no intent, when making the consolidation, to reduce the workforce. “It’s about consolidation of the executive leadership,” Maiman says. “But not anywhere else, not with the brands, not with the people – the intent is certainly not to close up New Jersey and move everybody to Manhattan.”

Overall, because of FCB Health’s success growth, Maiman expects continued strong growth by the ICC agencies. “I think just by dint of the fact that we’ve had a tremendous success growth record, we’re going to see a lot of growth here, at the ICC or Pace or Trio agencies,” she says. “That’s our hope, and what we really predict.”

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