Saatchi Consumer absorbs spin-off Glow Worm amid downturn

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Saatchi & Saatchi Consumer Health + Wellness is absorbing its spin-off Glow Worm in a “proactive” effort amid slowing consumer advertising spend.

Jim Joseph, managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi Consumer Health + Wellness, said the move was not in response to any loss of business. “They were a boutique shop and in this economy, with tightening budgets, it made sense to regroup, so that we're more deeply resourced and better able to meet client needs,” he said. “It's not that anything put a big hole in our ship – we're just being proactive. This is our attempt to better position ourselves for next year and be better able to ride out any economic storm.”

Last month, TNS Media Intelligence released data showing a 6.3% drop in consumer drug advertising spend for the first eight months of the year.

The agency, launched in the summer of 2006 with capabilities in digital marketing and CRM, boasted a staff of around 20 servicing two big accounts – Takeda's IBS drug Amitiza and Boehringer Ingelheim's antiretroviral Viramune, which it shared with the Publicis network's main professional shop, Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare Advertising.

“We're just pulling it back in,” said Joseph. “For the most part, the teams are remaining intact. It's more of a name change than anything.”  

It is unclear as yet whether Glow Worm managing director Dorothy Wetzel will remain with the network. 
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