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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

McCann Torre Lazur 2015

Written by: | | Dated: Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

McCann Torre Lazur
20 Waterview Blvd.
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Telephone: 973-263-9100



Account wins    5
Active business clients    11


Brands by 2014 sales
Brand-product accounts held    26
$25 million or less    3
$25 million – $50 million    1
$50 million – $100 million    4
$100 million – $500 million    4
$1 billion or more    4
Products yet to be approved/launched    10


Services Mix

Professional advertising and promotion
(print, interactive, and digital)    70%
DTP     30%


Client Roster
Actelion Pharmaceuticals
Actavis Pharma
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals
Grifols USA
Inspirion Pharmaceutical
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA



For McCann Torre Lazur (MTL), 2014 was a year defined by “doing what we do best,” says Bill McEllen, president of MTL. “The primary focus of the agency has been, and always will be, the growth of our clients’ business, both domestically and across the globe.” This dedication is evidenced by the fact that in 2014, MTL launched 20 percent of all the brands approved by FDA the previous year..

The year’s accomplishments

MTL is the agency of record for nearly 30 brands and franchises across a wide client base, including Actelion, GlaxoSmithKline, Teva, Novartis, Grifols, AstraZeneca, and the Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly partnership to name a few. Additionally, MTL leveraged past experience in epilepsy after winning Eisai’s Fycompa for the treatment of partial-onset seizures. MTL received 43 awards in 2014, including Med Ad News’ Agency of the Year. In addition, the agency took home numerous medals from Creativity International and the Rx Club.

A major accomplishment for the agency was the launch of a new promotional campaign for Brilinta, AstraZeneca’s blockbuster anticoagulant for patients with acute coronary syndrome. “Our ‘Hero’ campaign vividly captures the high-stakes moment of a decision for a cardiac surgeon that consciously or not, dramatically impacts a patient’s life,” says Marcia Goddard, chief creative officer.

Beyond just working in mass-market categories, the agency continues to pride itself on its commitment to orphan diseases. Leaders say a perfect example of this is the work the agency created for Actelion’s Opsumit. The “HELP HER WRITE FUTURE CHAPTERS” campaign sought to change what physicians thought was possible in the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and demonstrate that the long-term evidence supporting Opsumit empowers them to better direct their patients’ futures. The campaign changed physicians’ perspectives by providing them with the ability to give patients hope that they will be there for the future moments that truly matter. Additionally, the work helped foster an expanded business opportunity within PAH by adding Selexipag to its roster of brands.

For many agencies, the role of digital is more on the execution side of a project. At MTL, the digital department is critically involved from inception through completion, helping to plan, develop, and drive tactics, agency leaders remark. A notable example of MTL’s true digital integration is the “Neurodegeneration Gap” campaign that was developed for Teva. A key component of the campaign was the “Neurodegeneration Gap” game. Highly recognized, the edugame features two unique platforms that were designed to engage and educate physicians on the neurodegeneration gap that exists in MS.

MTL has also greatly expanded the offerings of its Scientific Integration Group, which tripled in size in 2014. The group has evolved to be wholly integrated into each brand team. By adding complementary disciplines, MTL is able to meet the continuing demand to bridge high-level science and compelling brand development, executives say.

In 2014, MTL launched an agency-wide revitalization based on the company’s culture, principles, and people. “The foundation of MTL is built upon our three core values: Ideas Worth Fighting For, We vs I, and Winning Spirit,” McEllen says. “Ideas Worth Fighting For is about the creation of the undeniably brilliant idea and the conviction to see it through. We vs I is our belief in holding ourselves to the highest standard of collaboration, trust, and accountability.

“Our Winning Spirit is what unifies us. We never give up, we live to succeed, and we have fun doing it,” McEllen says.

Structure and services offered

As part of McCann Health, the largest global healthcare network, MTL specializes in delivering outstanding healthcare communications to professionals and patients via print and interactive media. The agency has been in business for more 30 years, spans the globe, and has an enviable roster of both clients and staff, executives say.

2014 saw the expansion of senior management throughout the agency, with the addition of Wendy Levine, who joins Beth Beck and Mark Willmann as managing director. “It’s an honor to be part of a team that I have admired for years as both a former client and agency partner,” Levine remarks.

Similar changes were seen on the creative side with Katharine Imbro, Deb Feath, and Modesto Rodriguez stepping into the creative director position. “Our business is divided among these three leaders with the task of elevating our creativity,” Goddard says. “Beyond management, they work beside me to challenge and inspire our teams.” Additionally, MTL created a new role within the creative department with the appointment of Stacey Crowley to creative services director. From recruiting to resource management, Crowley is wholly dedicated to elevating every aspect of creative within the agency.


MTL has always been deeply committed to giving back and playing an active role in the community, executives say. In 2014, the agency launched McCann HealthCares, an agency-wide initiative that promised the entire year to helping a local family achieves its dreams.  

MTL also launched its first Walk & Wag event where six dogs from the local shelter visited the MTL office for the afternoon. “Every dog had its own Facebook page, and the day was a howling success that resulted in every dog finding a new home and a few lucky staff members finding a new best friend,” executives comment.

Last spring, MTL hosted its sixth annual MAD dash 5K race. The event is a community affair, dedicated in memory of a past employee, Maddy Loftus. More than 500 people participate in the race each year, and all proceeds go directly to the Maddy Loftus Memorial Scholarship Fund, which annually gives two scholarships to high school athletes. To date, more than $100,000 has been raised.

On Sept. 10, 2014, World Suicide Prevention Day, MTL launched #worthliving, a grassroots campaign to promote suicide prevention by taking one day to show why every day is worth living. The first tweet went out at 5 am. Three hours later, #worthliving appeared on The Today Show, eventually generating 18 million media impressions. “Because we are all part of the human experience, encouraging philanthropy has always been a strong part of our corporate culture,” Willmann says. “At MTL, we stay connected to our community by many initiatives on a corporate and personal level.” 

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