W2O operating firm 21GRAMS has appointed Tom Richards as co-global chief creative officer. In this role, Richards, who is based in the United Kingdom, will serve as a creative partner to U.S.-based Frank Mazzola, one of the company’s founding members. “Together, the vision is clear: Raise the value of healthcare brands and companies to be more relevant, meaningful and human,” management says.

“Ask any agency in health, around the world, who would be on their wish list,” Mazzola says. “9 out of 10 will say Tom Richards. The work he’s led consistently shows the industry what great looks like. Not just in ideas that break the norms of traditional advertising, but in craft. As someone who came up in copy, and Tom in art, we complement each other well. I’ve been a fan for years, so it’s an honor to partner alongside and see what we can do together. The goal is to open doors no one knew existed for the industry.”

Richards joins 21GRAMS from UK-based Havas Lynx, where he served as chief creative officer. During his tenure, he grew the creative department to more than 100, led the company to win the Lions Health “Healthcare Agency of the Year” in 2018, and helped it become one of the UK’s top 10 creative agencies in 2019. Richards is also president of the Health and Wellness jury at Cannes, which he will lead in 2021.

“With an internationally recognized talent like Tom partnering with Frank, our reach and scope now extends globally,” says Robert Blink, founder and CEO of 21GRAMS. “This shared role gives our clients two game-changing creative leaders who, together and across every account, regardless of geography, will oversee, elevate and push the creative work to places healthcare hasn’t been. Working collaboratively, they will strive toward their vision of raising the value of healthcare brands and companies to be more relevant, meaningful and human.”

Tom Richards

“I have always admired 21GRAMS and its philosophy of finding what makes people tick, and creating work that really ‘gets’ them,” Richards says. “Work that doesn’t just compete with other brands, but anything fighting for the audience’s attention. It’s not every day you get to be a part of, and help build, a new kind of health agency – one with a passion for creativity at its heart and soul. The leadership team has great chemistry and delights in doing things differently, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

According to management, 21GRAMS’ advertising and marketing expertise in the healthcare sector coupled with W2O’s best-in-class data, analytics and insights provides organizations and brands with the knowledge and precision to build and nurture relationships among key stakeholders to drive business results. 

“Acquired by W2O in January 2020, 21GRAMS broadens W2O’s advertising portfolio while elevating its overall offering with the most advanced data and analytics in the industry,” managers say. “The goal is to be ‘the first at what’s next in healthcare’ by breaking down walls among PR, advertising, analytics and medical communications for a fully connected solution set that supports the rapidly changing needs of the healthcare industry.”