2008 MAHF Inductees

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The Medical Advertising Hall of Fame will induct Robert Baldini, John Corcoran and Richard Cliggott at a special celebration dinner. The MAHF will also honor Audrey Girard with a lifetime achievement award and M. James Dougherty with a service to industry award.

Robert Baldini

Bob Baldini started out in Big Pharma when it was small, joining Pfizer in 1953 and handling promotion of Pfizer penicillins such as Terramycin and Tetracyn.

“It was a whole different industry back then,” says Baldini. Pfizer had a little over a dozen people on its marketing team during that time.

In 1961, Baldini moved to Geigy, which had its own internal ad agency (later C&G Advertising).

He spent 20 years there, starting out in marketing research and product management before serving as the agency's director following the 1972 merger that created Ciba-Geigy.

Baldini was able to assemble a stellar cast of creatives—in part because he pushed the company to create a compensation structure that would allow C&G Advertising to compete for talent with external ad agencies. To make his case, he interviewed execs at ad agencies and from the internal shops of Abbott and Smith Kline French and came up with a competitive scale. Management relented. “Then we were able to hire true professionals,” says Baldini. His shop helped make mega-brands like Lopressor and Brethine.

In 1981, he left C&G Advertising to join tiny, Miami-based Key Pharmaceuticals as SVP sales and marketing.

“It was quite a shock going from a well-run Swiss operation to a small startup, but for me, it was like opening a window and letting the fresh air blow in,” says Baldini. “We created a can-do culture.”

On Baldini's watch, Key marketers helped make relative blockbusters of drugs like TheoDur ($100 million in peak sales) and K-Dur (over $300 million).

In 1986 Schering-Plough bought Key. Baldini stayed on, ultimately serving six years as president of the firm.

His biggest success at Key was ImDur. Merck had rejected the drug, an oral formulation of a mononitrate for the treatment of angina. “I said they didn't understand the market,” said Baldini. Key knew the category through transdermal nitroglycerin patch, NitroDur, for which it competed with much-larger rivals Ciba-Geigy and Searle. “We had lived with nitroglycerin for 10 years, and the problem is that it could be used for 12 hours, and then you had to take a hiatus for 12 hours to avoid tolerance issues,” says Baldini. Imdur offered round-the-clock coverage and became a $450 million brand.

In 1996, he signed on as marketing chief at Kos Pharmaceuticals, where he helped develop Niaspan and served as vice chairman from 2001 to his retirement in 2006. “Good cholesterol” was a little-understood phenomena then, and Kos was a virtual unknown. “We had to convince them not only of the reliability of the product, but of the reliability of the company.” Niaspan was expected to break $650 million in 2007 sales. —Matthew Arnold


Richard Cliggott

Dick Cliggott is perhaps best known for his entrepreneurial streak that led to an impressive list of firsts. But colleagues also respected his honest style and insistence on high editorial standards.

After a stint as district sales manager for Procter & Gamble in 1954, and then two years with his alma matter, Cornell University, as associate director of development, Dick entered publishing with Medical Economics Company in 1959. Over the course of a decade there, he eventually became VP and publisher of Hospital Physician.

Cliggott could have coasted on his sales skills. Instead he saw the potential of new formats. In 1970 he recognized a need for a category of journals to serve the specific clinical information needs of primary care physicians. That year he founded Cliggott Publishing Company and bought Consultant magazine from Smith Kline & French Laboratories, relaunching it as an independent journal for a controlled circulation of physicians who became known as the “minimass” audience.

Those who worked for him knew Dick as a figure who commanded respect. “[Dick] was a fairly intimidating man on first meeting. He had a wry sense of humor that didn't necessarily come out until you got to know him a little bit better,” said Jon Bigelow, who worked for Cliggott for 20 years starting in 1978.

The way Dick conducted himself personally and in business particularly impressed Bigelow.

In addition to a top-tier sales team, “He realized that to succeed for the long term, you needed to build a good editorial product,” said Bigelow, who eventually became one of Cliggott's successors as president.

“I turned down other job offers to take what was then a vague promise of launching another medical journal,” he recalled. Bigelow's boss stuck to his word. Six months later, the firm launched the Journal of Respiratory Diseases.

Next, Cliggott became one of the first publishers to add a medical communications business in the mid-1970s and, after hiring Bigelow, the first to start a journal with controlled circulation based on prescribing patterns.

Of the latter feat, Bigelow, said, “That seems very commonplace today but was a real departure in 1979.”

The next two decades saw him make prescient investments in technology, including database communications and physicians' television and online education.

Cliggott was also active in various industry groups, advocating for the value of medical journals and for editorial and business integrity. These included the Pharmaceutical Advertising Council and the Association of Medical Publishing (AMP), which Dick co-founded and led as president in 1977.

Cliggott retired in 1998 after 30 years in the business, his place as medical publishing visionary secure. He passed away in 2007. —Marc Iskowitz


John Corcoran

John Corcoran might be called the Johnny Appleseed of medical advertising. Corcoran spent four decades in pharmaceutical promotion, at companies and medical ad agencies alike, and invented the international market for medical advertising virtually single-handedly.

The New Jersey native began his long career in pharma marketing in 1964, joining Lederle Laboratories as a sales rep fresh from the Marine Corps, where he was a First Lieutenant (he stayed on in the reserves and later made the rank of Captain). At Lederle, where he detailed Declomycin and Aristocort in Buffalo, Corcoran caught the medical advertising bug. He went back to school, studying art design at Pratt Institute and taking a correspondence course on the advertising business. “I trained on every side of the business,” says Corcoran. “I didn't know what I wanted to be. I just knew I wanted in.”

He put together a portfolio of work, took it around to the medical agencies and landed a job as an account executive at agency powerhouse William Douglas McAdams, working on the Upjohn business. He went on to work at many of the biggest names in medical advertising— including Robert E. Wilson/ BBDO, FCB Healthcare, EuroRSCG Life and HealthSTAR Communications, where he served as COO.

But it was at Sudler & Hennessey that Corcoran made his name, exporting medical advertising from the US to the world. As president of Sudler & Hennessey International, he was tasked with establishing an international network of 11 healthcare agencies. He set up Sudler & Hennessey's first international office in Sydney, Australia in 1973 and, shortly thereafter, established a joint venture with Dentsu in Tokyo, Frankfurt and London. Later, as founder and president of Sudler & Hennessey Europe, he opened offices in Paris, Rome and Milan, including Rome-based med ed shop Intramed. It was the first truly global medical agency network.

After 18 years managing Sudler & Hennessy's global expansion, he returned to the US and joined FCB Healthcare as COO. There, he was involved in major product launches for brands like Singulair, Zocor, Imitrex, Fosamax and Zyban, and initiated the first account planning service offered by a US healthcare agency—a trick he learned in Europe. Agency revenue grew over 500% over eight years under his leadership. Then, after two years overseeing the global operations of Euro RSCG Life, he presided over the 2000 launch of HealthSTAR, expanding operations from its original four offices to 16 before his retirement in 2006.

He is also a founding member of MAHF and a longtime member of the executive committee.

—Matthew Arnold

James Dougherty

For nearly three decades, Jim Dougherty has steadfastly served industry.

On the advice of his “much older sister Peg,” he decided to sell ad space in pharma. That decision took him to Minnesota, where McGraw-Hill published its medical journals, of which Jim became group publisher.

Publishing turned out to be a good career move, but it was Dougherty's unpaid efforts that paid off for industry. As program chairman for the Pharmaceutical Advertising Council (PAC), he would invite speakers and host a series of private dinners, hobnobbing with some of the foremost personalities in the industry. Jim would go on to become PAC president, its youngest ever, in 1990. During his tenure, a new FDA commissioner declared war on pharma advertising and communications. “We had to get everybody into the game; it was literally war,” Dougherty recalls. “We were instrumental in providing information that pushed back some of the encroachment in regulations in CME.”

Subsequently he was asked to join the board of PhRMA, its first board member from the ranks of publishing, and while there worked on the professional research that would lead to the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. Dougherty also lent his talents to the Association of Medical Publishers and, as AMP president, he ensured that the group's members donated millions in ad space to the budding partnership.

“‘Do something good and get caught doing it' was [then Pfizer executive] Karen Kaitin's line,” Dougherty says.

Maybe it was what he called his “survival mechanism”—a selfless, modest personality that came from being the fifth of seven children in a large Irish-Catholic brood—that served him so well. Maybe his family set the tone: Peg founded the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA).

Regardless, Jim Dougherty has served his industry well. —Marc Iskowitz


Audrey Girard

At a time when sales reps were called “detailmen” and women's career options in healthcare were typically limited to nurse or secretary, Audrey Girard led the advertising department of a major pharmaceutical firm.

Girard learned the art of print production from her father growing up in England. During World War II, she served as a volunteer for the UK equivalent of the Women's Army Corps., taking notes on the planning for D-Day at Eisenhower's headquarters. She also met her future husband, an American Colonel by the name of William Girard, around this time.

After the war, the Girards came back to the US and settled in Chicago, where her printing expertise helped land her a job in the production department of the J. B. Roerig Company, a mid-sized firm specializing in nutritional supplements. When the company was acquired by Pfizer in 1953, Girard moved with it to New York and continued to spite the glass ceiling, rising through the ranks of Roerig to advertising manager, reporting directly to the president of the company, and becoming one of the first women to serve as a senior executive of a prominent pharma firm. She also became the first woman to lead the Pharmaceutical Advertising Club. 

At Roerig, she was responsible for marketing successes such as Antivert, Bonine and Atarax, using heavy direct mail and journal ads to deliver snappy taglines such as “Vertigo, Vertigoing, Vertigone,” for Antivert, a motion sickness treatment. For morning sickness, Roerig offered: “Blue at breakfast? In the pink with Bonine.” And for tranquilizer Atarax, the firm offered “Peace of mind”—or, for the parenteral version, “When peace of mind can't wait.”  

Girard was a notoriously demanding client, but an unusually gifted one, says MM&M and KPR great Warren Ross, who worked with her at the McAdams agency. “What she contributed to the creative process was an unfailing ability to inspire the agency to do its best and to approve and appreciate good work when it was presented,” says Ross, adding that she appreciated the value of consistent messaging. “All of that made her the perfect client— tough, demanding, highly focused, in fact determined, but at the same time supportive, appreciative of good work and never letting ego get in the way of what was best for her employer.”

Girard died tragically young, of cancer, in 1983. Younger people in the industry may not have known her, says Ross, but they stand on her shoulders.  —Matthew Arnold


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