McCann's healthcare umbrella has been home to Torre Lazur Managed Markets for the past decade or so. It has pitched alongside its McCann siblings as the network's sole managed-markets-focused agency. Its executives have McCann email addresses.
So when Torre Lazur Managed Markets announced that its name will be changing to McCann TL Managed Markets, few clients and industry pundits viewed the decision as revolutionary. Indeed, the general consensus is that the name change simply makes good business sense.
“We've been operating as McCann the whole time and we've tapped into McCann resources,” says Kim Wishnow-Per, executive vice president, managing director of McCann TL Managed Markets. “All we're doing [with the new name] is formalizing it in a way that emphasizes that strong connection.”
The name change could benefit the former TLMM in subtler ways. In solo pitches, the agency will no longer have to overtly emphasize McCann's century-long legacy of advertising and promotional excellence. In group pitches, it can stress the global nature of McCann's offering. “What I think it does is make it easier to pitch new business and demonstrate seamless teams to the clients that don't know us. But in terms of being fully integrated with one another, we've operated that way for a long time,” Wishnow-Per says.
Besides, it's not like the name change will alter McCann TL's status as one of the go-to firms for managed-markets expertise. “Every single pharma product out there has access and reimbursement issues,” Wishnow-Per notes. “In today's society, given the way we access medications, an access-and-reimbursement strategy isn't a luxury. It's a strategic imperative.”
McCann TL's new-business successes over the past year bears that out. The firm added Teva Neuroscience and Novo Nordisk to its client roster, and netted AstraZeneca via one of the aforementioned sibling connections: Complete Consult, a UK-based sister company, pulled in McCann TL for an AstraZeneca project that required managed-markets assistance in the US. The agency also won business from ViiV Healthcare, a Pfizer/GlaxoSmithKline joint venture dedicated to HIV products.
All of this amounted to 2% growth in 2011—which, though it was the first year of single-digit growth in Wishnow-Per's three years with the company, actually belongs in the win column. Two of McCann TL's biggest accounts, Plavix (Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi, for blood clots) and Reclast (Novartis, for treatment of osteoporosis and Paget's Disease), faced patent loss during the last 12 months, which prompted their manufacturers to scale back on marketing spend. “That we were able to grow 2% after we lost significant business—I think that's pretty impressive,” Wishnow-Per says. The agency expects 4% growth in 2012.
Once the name change is formally rolled out—as of early June, the firm hadn't yet decided whether it would keep its TLManagedMarkets.com URL—McCann TL will continue to push forward on the digital front, where some of its clients have been hesitant to embrace new technology and everything that comes with it. To that end, the agency recently added Rob Thomas to its leadership team as vice president, creative director. “Rob's digital savvy makes him a fantastic addition,” Wishnow-Per enthuses. “With managed markets, sometimes it's hard to get clients to move away from presentations and towards conversations. Rob will really help make that case.”