W2O Acquires Advertising & MedEd Agency, 21GRAMS, to Accelerate the Vision of Becoming the “First at What’s Next” in Marketing & Communications


Fast-growing Breakout Agency Brings Bold Creative and Deep Insights-Driven Approach to Global Healthcare Clients



SAN FRANCISCO & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–W2O, the leading independent provider of analytics-driven, digital-first marketing and communications to the healthcare sector, today announced the acquisition of 21GRAMS, a rapidly growing, strategic and creative marketing, advertising and patient/medical education agency dedicated to making healthcare more human.

The transformative acquisition will further strengthen W2O’s creative firepower and expand its capabilities in direct-to-consumer (DTC), direct-to-provider (DTP) and business-to-business (B2B) advertising and marketing to support the rapidly changing needs of the healthcare industry. 21GRAMS brings a differentiated method of fundamentally understanding a healthcare brand’s audience to ultimately make advertising less of an interruption and more worth their time, attention and action, while also offering a comprehensive suite of bold creative content capabilities. Together, W2O and 21GRAMS are committed to breaking down walls between the disciplines of advertising, marketing, communications and medical education to ensure a fully connected, inspiring and meaningful experience for patients, physicians and the entire healthcare ecosystem.

“21GRAMS is a true innovator, offering something different and more profound than its competitors. The agency’s philosophy that the work can and should tap into the human spirit, inspiring the invisible ‘something’ inside, aligns directly with our patient-first ethos and to what we are doing for clients. The unique strengths of 21GRAMS immediately enhances what we’ve been building over the last few years at W2O, a truly integrated approach to marketing communications. From my days as a client, I’ve always believed in the strength of a multi-disciplinary team spanning advertising, digital, branding, media activation and engagement working together in unison to deliver optimal business results,” said W2O Founder and CEO Jim Weiss. “Together, we will combine our experienced, results-oriented teams, integrating the best in proprietary data and analytics, creative content, and omnichannel activation to create a next-generation entity that’s equal parts technology and science – providing clients with a level of expertise that compares more to Netflix or Google than any network that currently exists. Simply put, we are joining together to be the first at ‘what’s next’ in health.”

This acquisition also bolsters W2O’s position in medical and scientific communications, as 21GRAMS has a robust medical and patient education division that will complement the three recent W2O acquisitions of Arcus Medica, ISO.health and Radius Digital Science. This will allow for deeper engagement with healthcare influencers, which is critical to W2O’s bench to bedside approach. W2O works with more than 100 healthcare companies, from innovative start-ups to 24 of the 25 largest global pharmaceutical companies as well as some of the leading payors and providers.

“W2O has been leading the charge in health’s tech revolution, combining intelligence with the latest technology to provide an unfair advantage for brands and organizations – not at the speed our industry is accustomed to, but in real-time to elevate the overall value and relevance of healthcare marketing and communications in today’s chaotic, digital-first world,” said Robert Blink, Founder and CEO of 21GRAMS. “Joining this like-minded and forward-thinking organization gives us greater scale, as well as significant technological innovation and global reach – allowing us to match our ambitions to our abilities. Together, we are designing the future in health, connecting humanity and technology to position healthcare brands as more inspiring than sneakers, fast food or soda water.”

Over the last several years, W2O has significantly expanded and strengthened its overall portfolio, including its advertising and digital capabilities. Having curated a team of more than 200 of the industry’s leading professionals, W2O has been producing and executing innovative, award-winning marketing programs fueled by the organization’s proprietary data analytics platform. This approach measures success based on the impact it’s had on a client’s business performance. 21GRAMS adds more than 150 advertising and patient/medical education specialists to the W2O family. With extensive experience in working with healthcare brands across all major therapeutic areas and developmental stages, 21GRAMS’ core capabilities include advertising (direct-to-consumer and healthcare provider), patient storytelling, medical education, strategy, analytics and television production.

“Together, these powerful complementary forces put us in a more capable and competitive position than ever before to address the commercialization challenges and opportunities of our global clients,” added Weiss.

The 21GRAMS brand, approach and leadership team will operate under W2O’s single, integrated profit and loss (P&L) operation, with access to all of W2O’s proprietary data models and tools as well as it’s 1,000 person strong multidisciplinary team – including data analysts, scientific strategists, branding experts, communications specialists and creatives – to build unfair advantage for clients and their brands. Additionally, the 21GRAMS leadership team will remain the same with Robert Blink, Wendy Levine, Jayson Dupré and Frank Mazzola.

21GRAMS and W2O are privately held companies and the financial terms of the acquisitions are not being disclosed. A team from Excel Partners, led by Ed Soh and Doug Donohue, served as the exclusive financial advisor to 21GRAMS.

About 21GRAMS

21GRAMS was built to be different by design, fusing advertising and education for the first time in an agency model. As two arms of the same body, these disciplines work seamlessly, to inject creativity into education and give advertising exclusive and personal access to doctors and patients – providing an unmatched ability to uncover deeper insights and create work that truly “gets” them. Using brands people love as a model for connecting with audiences, 21GRAMS adheres to the mantra “Medicine should be more inspiring than sneakers.” Obsessing less on minutia, and more on what makes people tick. For more information, visit 21GRAMSNY.com.

About W2O

Founded by Jim Weiss in 2001, W2O is the leading independent provider of analytics-driven, digital-first marketing and communications to the healthcare sector. W2O applies proprietary analytics models, methodologies and approaches in a digital world to design precise communications and marketing strategies to deliver sustained business results. W2O maintains 15 offices across the United States and in Europe.

For more information, please visit www.w2ogroup.com.

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Sylvia Aranda, 424-201-9464
[email protected]



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