Omnicom merges Corbett, LLNS into TBWA/ WorldHealth brand

 



The healthcare agency solar system continues to get smaller. Omnicom Health Group said it is consolidating two legacy healthcare communications agencies, one of which handles the blockbusters Sovaldi and Harvoni for hepatitis C, under the TBWA/WorldHealth brand, the network is expected to announce today.

The two agencies are LLNS and Corbett, whose flagship account is Gilead's marquee hepatitis-C brands. The firms had combined revenue of $58 million in 2014, according to MM&M estimates.

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LLNS CEO Sharon Callahan (pictured) has been named CEO of TBWA/WorldHealth, which is based in New York and is considered the newest global network in the Omnicom Health Group. Robin Shapiro, former president and chief creative officer of Corbett, will serve as group president of North America.

“We're not losing the heritage of the brand,” Callahan said. “[This] allows us to create a smarter agency.”

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The reorganization comes less than two months after Omnicom announced a broad restructuring of its health agencies. At that time it formalized the Omnicom Health Group, disbanded the CDM Group (all CDM agencies continue to operate), and separated the agencies into four categories: professional, patient, payer, and regulatory/evidence/medical. Callahan continues to serve as chief client officer of the Omnicom Health Group.

The consolidation underway at Omnicom in many ways mirrors the handful of reorganizations and consolidations that have been announced at several holding company owned healthcare agencies in recent months.

One year after Interpublic Group placed ICC Lowe, Trio, and Pace under the FCB Health brand, it rebranded ICC and Pace as Cure, in a move that also rid two agencies of their legacy brands.

See also: ICC and Pace merge, renamed Cure

Other big changes announced in the last six months include McCann Health rebranding three of its professional shops in an effort to unite its North American agencies, and WPP making three healthcare deals, most notably acquiring media planning leader CMI in March.

Corbett, which had estimated revenue of $47 million in 2014, is known for its work as the AOR for Gilead Sciences' blockbuster hepatitis-C franchise. It continues to work on those brands, Callahan said. LLNS , which employs about 100 people, brought in an estimated $21 million in revenue in 2014.

There are no layoffs or office closures anticipated as a result of the reorganization, Callahan said. She noted that client losses did not prompt the decision.

Some of the network's other large clients include Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and Galderma.

One goal of the new organization is to “get to more strategic insights and better creative,” Callahan said. “Clients are asking us to break with the standard approach to advertising.”

She described working with an oncology brand and how research into competitive brands found they often used standard images such as people strolling or families eating together to advertise those therapies. “It's starting to look like wallpaper,” she said. “We want to create a vision to a new way for a brand to exist in the world.”