Account wins 11
Active business clients 33
Brands by 2021 sales
Brand-product accounts held 36
Best Managed Markets Campaign
The Bloc continued to drive growth and burnish our creative and industry leadership during Year 2 of the coronavirus pandemic,” agency leaders declare. Having passed the $50 million revenue mark for the first time in 2020, the agency drove $56.7 million in 2021 revenue while celebrating its 21st anniversary.
“We were honored and humbled to be recognized as Cannes Lions Health’s, Clio Health’s, London International’s, and The Creative Floor’s Independent Agency of the Year as well as MM&M’s Large Agency of the Year and Independent Agency of the Year,” management says. “Our awards tally nearly doubled as we collected 189 awards for our creativity across domestic and global platforms. This includes shattering the record for the most awards won in Clio Health’s history by winning 40 trophies.”
The leadership team says, “While our success was sweet, our true inspiration continued to come from our community of Bloc’ers who weathered the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
With the goal of stable and sustainable growth for our people and business, we expanded the agency with a mix of organic growth and the addition of new clients,” management says. “Intent upon realizing our mission to ‘be great to do good,’ we made significant strides in laying the foundation for The Bloc’s future success.”
Towards its growth goals, the agency added Stuart Goldstein to the executive team as The Bloc’s first chief operating officer. “Stuart joined us from McCann Health New York and brings a track record of transformational growth to the table,” agency managers say.
Kim Barke was promoted to executive VP, executive creative director for The Bloc Science Foundry, the agency’s medical communications practice, which management says enjoyed growth in 2021. In her new role, Barke will focus on growth and development of the agency’s high science talent and offerings. And the leadership team expanded with the addition of Malia Baker, senior VP, creative director.
“Our ‘People First’ approach was critical in 2021, as we navigated the ups of widespread vaccine availability and the downs of Zoom fatigue and the Delta and Omicron surges,” agency leaders state. “We continued to offer a fully flexible model, enabling Bloc’ers to work from the location of their choice and also enabling us to source amazing talent across North America.”
According to management, “In 2021, we invested more in employee training and development than ever before, including specialized training to help staff cope with remote work. We continued with our twice-monthly, all-hands meetings, introduced camera-free Fridays, and expanded our access to mental health resources and benefits. We sent out two Bloc swag boxes to each Bloc’er’s home and continued to provide ongoing information and guidance on the pandemic and vaccine/treatment development in an effort to spread truth vs misinformation. As a result, we were thrilled to be certified a Best Place to Work – with 93 percent of our employees agreeing – as well as being named a Fortune Best Place to Work in New York.”
According to the leadership team, in 2021 revenue grew more than 9 percent from 2020 to reach $56.7 million, the largest the agency has ever been. “Consistent with years before, our primary growth driver was organic wins from existing clients,” management says. New assignments came from current clients Regeneron (Evkeeza) and Merck (Oncology). The agency also added some new clients, including Applied VR and PhaseBio.
In addition, the Bloc’s Value Builders market access team grew, with new accounts from Pfizer and Takeda, and organic growth from Sanofi Genzyme and its patient services program, CareASSIST. “Despite the challenges of another year managing life during a pandemic, there is no denying that the Value Builders are a force to be reckoned with in market access communications,” agency executives say.
Management also attributes its success to the agency’s global network, The BlocPartners, which celebrated its 17th anniversary. “We welcomed new agencies in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Greece in 2021 – thus strengthening our global reach in this strategically important geography. The network is now present in 34 markets with over 1,300 employees across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.”
Structure and Services
The Bloc’s services include branding, strategy, omnichannel, CRM, global, medical communications, customer experience planning, channel planning, social, market access, consulting, adaptation, and analytics.
Innovation for 2022 at The Bloc is focused on what leaders call the three I’s – insightful interactions, intuitive interfaces, and immersive experiences.
Insightful interactions are powered by big data and intelligence that understands the universe of customer behavior and aligns the brand to real-world value drivers to deliver equity, improved outcomes, and business impact, management says.
Intuitive interfaces evolve omnichannel engagement using AI, natural language processing, and learning algorithms to create a hybrid human/tech interface that delivers purpose-driven brand engagement at a moment of need. And immersive experiences leverage emerging platforms such as VR/AR, as well as haptic sensor technologies, will bring brands into the future of multisensory experiences – both physical and virtual.
“As always, we stay grounded in our principle of ‘humanovation’ – innovation that delivers on positive human impact,” The Bloc executives state.
According to the leadership team, “We are at a transformative time in history. Our ways of working and living have changed, and we will not be going back to a prepandemic ‘normal.’ At The Bloc, we will continue to embrace our flexible model to ensure our people can be successful in our new reality and that we can support our clients’ best business outcomes by delivering world-class health solutions.”
The Bloc says, “Going forward, we will continue to invest in our people and our business in order to fuel growth. We will combine our deep strategic and creative heritage with technology solutions that deliver compelling experiences across every conceivable platform. Our next generation of thought leaders will stay ahead of the curve and continue to set industry trends that others will follow. We will enhance our creative edge, attracting top talent across disciplines and clients. We will pilot new technologies and processes to improve workflow and enhance output. Above all, we will continuously strive to be the preferred partner for all of our clients.”
The Bloc has historically matched 100% of any individual or Bloc team charitable contribution and made a commitment last summer to match 200% of any donation to programs and organizations supporting racial and social justice, agency executives say. “We are proud that in 2021 we doubled our charitable giving from the prior year, supporting organizations including Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, UNICEF, The Good Grief Trust, Movember, and Feeding America.”
Through its partnership with The National Black Child Development Institute, The Bloc launched “ABC’s of Survival,” an alphabet of lessons for BIPOC youth on how to survive. The book includes tear-out protest posters and postcards to send to Congress. “The brainchild of one of our Bloc’ers, this is a seminal work created to spark conversations that drive meaningful change.”
The Bloc built upon its our relationship with EmpowHer New York, launching “Skindeep,” a film that not only captures the pain of everyday racism, but also reveals the broader context of how race-based traumatic stress is like an open wound that will not heal and is reinflicted generation after generation – it is a pain that lies beneath the surface for people of color in America. “Both of these projects were lauded on the world stage – recognized at Cannes Lions Health, Clios and The One Club,” management points out. In addition, The Bloc formed a long-term partnership with Working for Women, an organization focused on supporting economic independence for women. “We look forward to expanding this partnership in 2022.”