The Top 50: Donahoe Purohit Miller

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In addition to being pleased with 11% revenue growth and landing 14 new accounts, Donahoe Purohit Miller (DPM) CEO and president Ahnal Purohit is also happy to report geographic and therapeutic expansion, and recognition for outstanding creative.

“We kept [our dermatology business] and expanded into endocrinology, diagnostic and oncology,” Purohit notes. “It was one of our goals. [Tercica’s] Increlex launch received several gold awards. People knew our strength in strategy, now we can show it’s also creative.”
DPM’s West Coast roster is expanding and includes Tercica and Nektar, and it recently got HIV, oncology and corporate business from Monogram Biosciences. Tercica grew to include Somatuline Autogel, and Medicis awarded DPM acne products Solodyn, Triaz and Ziana. Additional new clients include Acusphere, Animal Medical Center, Bioniche, CSL Behring, Collagenex, Cutanea Life Sciences, Cephalon, DermAvance, INO Therapeutics, Roche Diagnostics, XDx and US Oncology. The agency parted ways with Aspreva, Winston Pharmaceuticals and Sirius Laboratories.

Purohit is positive about Chicago agency growth and feels it helps the talent pool. “People may shop around [Chicago agencies] a bit more because a lot of them are doing well,” she notes. “I’m glad it’s happening because it will attract more talent as more agencies grow here.”

Purohit sees a new trend emerging. “Maybe blockbusters aren’t the way of the future,” she says. “Maybe we’ll see smarter, more targeted therapeutics, delivery systems and diagnostics all working together. We’re going to individualized medicine. Devices and diagnostics will deliver medicine to the right person at the right time. Even within big oncology, there will be niche products. It’s happening in breast cancer and HIV with Pfizer’s new drug. That’s just the beginning. Advertising agencies have to be much more knowledgeable about the micro understanding. So things will be a little more clinically oriented.”

Purohit notes that as knowledge increases exponentially, so does the need for communications depth. “Agencies are going to have to be more strategic and have more depth,” she says. “It’s not just understanding oncology—it’s understanding minute areas and communicating to very specific audiences.”

To point, DPM has many PhD pharmacologists on staff to help teams communicate nuances. “This year we got a diagnostic area client [Monogram] whose major mission is come up with diagnostics to help individuals.”

This year the agency is already “significantly ahead” of its goal. She also emphasizes the importance of continuing to deliver for existing clients. “DPM is committed to staying on top of this issue and to partnering with clients,” she says. “Even at a party somebody is going to ask you something. We’ve made an effort to ensure we provide [staff information about how to answer responsibly]. We want to talk about positive things industry does. Most of us are good, normal, ethical people who want to help people. I consider every employee a soldier who can talk about what we do and what we do right.” —Tanya Lewis
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