Publicis Health formalizes new name, promotes 3 execs
Janet Winkler (left), chief strategy officer, Matt McNally, president of Digitas Health LifeBrands and chief media officer, Alexandra von Plato, group president, North America, and Nick Colucci, Publicis Health CEO.
This story has been updated.
Publicis Health restructured its management team, promoting Alexandra von Plato, Janet Winkler, and Matt McNally to new leadership roles.
Publicis Groupe, Interpublic Group, Omnicom, and WPP have all made organizational changes to their healthcare networks in the past two years.
Von Plato is now the sole group president of Publicis Health's communications and media agencies in North America, a position she previously split with Janet Winkler, who has been named Publicis Health's chief strategy officer. Matt McNally, previously president of Publicis Health Media and president of Razorfish Health, was also promoted to president of Digitas Health and chief media officer of Publicis Health. McNally will now report to von Plato. He previously reported to Publicis Health CEO Nick Colucci.
See also: Digitas Health LifeBrands
This new leadership structure comes two months after the agency rebranded from Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG) to Publicis Health. “We went with ‘health' because we're not just about healthcare,” von Plato said, explaining that the new name signals that the agencies' remit now includes health and wellness companies.
Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy in late 2015 changed the holding company's business model, breaking down the disciplines into four “solutions hubs.” As part of that rejiggering, the healthcare business was referred to as Publicis Health, at the time. The health division, which also went by Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, adopted the new moniker internally in July and changed the external brand around the same time, according to a spokesperson. The name was legally changed in December.
Von Plato, in her new role, will oversee seven agencies: Digitas Health LifeBrands, Saatchi and Saatchi Wellness, Razorfish Health, Discovery USA, Heartbeat Ideas, Publicis LifeBrands Medicus, and Publicis Health Media. Winkler will continue to manage In-sync and Verilogue, as they are part of Publicis Health's insights businesses. Michelle Keefe will continue to lead Publicis Health's message delivery businesses: Publicis Touchpoint Solutions, PDI, Tardis Medical Consultancy, and Maxcess Managed Markets. Langland's U.S. operation and Real Science are still managed by Ashley Kuchel, group president, EU and APAC.
Digitas Health Lifebrands, Discovery USA, Heartbeat Ideas, Publicis LifeBrands Medicus, Razorfish Health, and Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness brought in revenue of $366 million in 2015, according to estimates published in MM&M's Agency Issue.
“This is part of a planned process of scaling our portfolio and driving more collaboration across our agencies,” said von Plato. “My role is to facilitate collaboration as a group to ensure that we are doing everything at our disposal [for clients]. You have to have someone focused in a role doing that.”
While the agencies will retain their own strategic capabilities, Winkler will help develop strategic best practices across the firms. She will also help to facilitate collaboration among the portfolio of agencies. “When we're pulling different teams from different agencies quickly, we need new mechanisms to get people to come together quickly and start speaking the same language,” von Plato said of Winkler's new role.
McNally will be more focused on Digitas Health, but von Plato noted that he will also be tapped for his media expertise across the network — owing to his second title as chief media officer. David Paragamian has taken the reins of Razorfish Health as managing director. Jedd Davis, previously Publicis Health Media's chief operating officer, has been promoted to managing director of the same agency. Davis' previous role as COO will not be filled. Von Plato said his new role as managing director will include operational oversight for the media agency.
Several of the largest healthcare agency networks in the U.S. have reassessed their agency structures over the past two years, leading to the loss of several legacy healthcare brand names as well as the creation of new health brands.
Omnicom Health Group in February of last year announced that it had reorganized its agencies into four categories. Two months later, in April, Omnicom merged LLNS and Corbett into TBWA/WorldHealth. Then, in June, the same network merged AgencyRx, Flashpoint Medica, and three other agencies to form DDB Health.
Earlier this month, WPP confirmed that it would merge Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, ghg, and Sudler & Hennessey into a new holding company called WPP Health & Wellness.
Interpublic Group also recently reshuffled its portfolio. In March 2015, the network consolidated its ICC Lowe Health brands into FCB Health. Less than a year later, in January, FCB Health merged ICC and Pace into a new agency dubbed Cure.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Alexandra von Plato is the sole group president of North America for Publicis Health. She is the sole group president of Publicis Health's communications and media agencies in North America.