Upward Move: Paul O'Neil

Paul O'Neil
President, Ogilvy CommonHealth ­Wellness Marketing

INDUSTRY VET Paul O'Neil has jumped ship to take the helm at Ogilvy CommonHealth Wellness Marketing. In leaving ICC Lowe (where he was chief growth officer), O'Neil wanted to get back to the blocking and tackling of agency business: working with clients and marketing brands.

“One of the challenges in that role was being a couple steps removed from the actual marketing of health brands,” he explains, “I wanted to get back to working directly with clients and developing marketing and communications programs with them.”

O'Neil, like many others in the industry, began his career working as a sales rep—in his case for Pfizer. Sales led to marketing, and O'Neil soon realized he was on the wrong side of the fence.

“The work I enjoyed the most was being outsourced to the agencies: the creative work and marketing solutions,” he says. O'Neil would go on to work for such mega agencies as Draftfcb and Cline Davis & Mann—racking up 25 years in healthcare marketing. With that kind of mileage, he's picked up a few things along the way.

“The most important thing is the distinction between people and teams,” he asserts, “people are capable of doing amazing things; teams are capable of absolutely phenomenal things. When you can harness the talent of an individual and apply it to a broader team, that's where true innovation and success comes from.”

The next step for O'Neil is taking on the health system at large while maintaining his agency's integrity. “One of the chief concerns going forward,” he says, “is that the healthcare system has some misaligned objectives or incentives. We're looking to realign people around the common cause of improved health outcomes.”

“You think about what we do, and really delving into the human psyche, and what really motivates [people] to change behaviors,” O'Neil says, “It comes with a lot of responsibility to be true to our audience all the time.”
close

Next Article in Careers

Opinion

How to Shatter the Glass Ceiling

How Pharma Can Benefit from the Transformation of Pharmacy

Newsletters

Live at MM&M Transforming Healthcare

Pharma faces its 'oh, shit' moment

In his keynote address at the MM&M Transforming Healthcare conference, Dr. Gautam Gulati says the industry is being outpaced by its innovation.

Merck, Takeda execs: Is AI the new bad app?

One executive referred to AI as a "black box" and as the "Tower of Babel."

Value-based care requires innovators to challenge the status quo

Execs stressed the importance of collaboration, consumer-mindedness.

Admetsys wins the 2017 MM&M Startup Showdown

The artificial pancreas can provide value to the health system.

Top 40 Healthcare Transformers

MM&M honors 40 upstarts and veteran innovation gurus.

Top 10 Innovation Catalysts

For the first time MM&M honors a group of 10 agency execs.