JUICE Pharma Worldwide had its second straight year of 25% revenue increase in 2011. The agency also picked up 12 wins, with multiple global assignments from Merck after JUICE's partners helped form and lead an alliance of independent agencies, the Independent Network, to compete for Merck's business in light of its decision to consolidate agencies.
“When you hear the word ‘consolidation,' it will no longer just include holding companies necessarily,” says president and CEO Lois Moran. “Consolidation doesn't mean that independents are left out. We can compete.”
Merck wins include professional AOR and digital AOR status for 11 products spanning CNS, vaccines, infectious diseases, and ophthalmology. Moran says the agency opted not to pitch for Merck respiratory products, some of which were previously held.
Work on Leo Pharma's Picato (actinic keratosis) expanded from professional AOR to include a consumer AOR award.
Partner and chief creative officer Lynn Macrone counts success of the Independent Network and work on Picato among last year's highlights. “Winning the consumer business on Picato was a tremendous highlight,” she says, “because we want to bring clients 360-degree communications platforms so we can ensure cohesiveness across channels.”
Moran uses the phrase “adapt, overcome, and surprise” to describe 2011.
“We adapted in helping pull together the Independent Network to create the alliance, and we overcame the obstacle,” Moran explains. “Everyone put their shoulder to it, and the stakes were very high. The surprise part is surprising everyone with the success and achievement. Plus, we always want to surprise clients with unexpected solutions.”
A process for delivering innovation has been formalized and is being brought to bear on every brand.
“[It's about going] beyond pharma to see what other industries are doing, gathering inspiration, assuring relevance for solving clients' specific business problems, and building a case for bringing that innovation to them,” Moran explains. “We've formalized it with milestones, timelines, and a road map of how we pull in inspiration and make it relevant to clients. Then we put it into a business plan [that illustrates how] it will solve their business problems.”
Macrone notes a “transmedia approach” to concepts is key to delivering ideas that hold together across media and audiences. “It's bigger than a multichannel idea,” she says. “It's thinking about a concept in terms of transmedia.”
Headcount increased from 126 in 2010 to 189 in 2011. Angela Cole, an oncology nurse, joined last year as SVP in strategic planning. Maintaining a “culture of innovation” continues as a priority.
Not surprisingly, Moran says all clients require digital integrated programs. “JUICE is digitally buff,” she adds. “It's a center of excellence and very well integrated in everything we do.”
Revenue is expected to end up about 25% again this year. Macrone is pleased with the agency's development of strong consumer expertise. Expanding work in oncology and diabetes is a focus for growth.
“The industry is going through a lot of changes— it has been,” Moran says. “What will continue to be required is ability to be decisive, to be nimble, to adapt, to solve, and to do that two steps ahead on behalf of clients. Change is the new normal.”