Agency CAHG became the first healthcare marketing shop to get training and certification in regulatory compliance from the Center for Communication Compliance. CAHG's parent company, Omnicom, said its healthcare agencies will all follow suit.
For more than half of the staff at CAHG, which has offices in Chicago and New York, annual training will be a condition for employment. That includes all client-facing staff “in a direct position to influence deliverables for clients,” said CEO Scott Cotherman.
“As there's increasing scrutiny over the development of materials in support of our clients' products and services, we feel responsibility to take a leadership position,” said Cotherman. “Innovation and risk mitigation are often at odds with each other, but it's our responsibility to deliver the greatest possible innovation during a time of increased regulatory scrutiny.”
Tom Harrison, head of Omnicom's Diversified Agency Services unit, which includes the company's healthcare businesses, said the firm wants to get out in front of anticipated demand for such training.
“We are being proactive in that we are certainly expecting most of our clients to demand this as a cost of doing business for and with them,” said Harrison. “It will make us more valuable communications partners. It is vital that clients' agency partners be in tune and fully versed on the regulations as we develop communications strategies.”
The New York-based Center for Communication Compliance's training consists of three one-hour modules covering the regulatory environment and the how-to of tactical execution, followed by a test.