The Top 75: CDM Princeton

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CDM's Princeton arm posted a 17% revenue gain for 2010 and added 10 positions, bringing its staff to 110.
Wins included Gilead's TMC278 for HIV, Watson's Prochieve, for prevention of preterm births in patients with shortened cervixes, and Crinone for infertility. The 12-year-old shop lost its business on antidepressant Viibryd when its maker, Clinical Data, Inc., was purchased by Forest. “That's the business,” says McLaughlin. “We've been on both sides of that.”
The shop's longtime president Kyle Barich decamped to CDM New York last year to serve as director of client services, and co-creative directors Ashley Schofield (art) and Gerry McLaughlin (copy), both partners at the firm, have assumed leadership in his stead.
“We're all cross-trained in each other's disciplines,” says McLaughlin. “We talk about succession planning at all levels.”
McLaughlin and Schofield are partners at the firm. Director of client services Heather Coyle and director of strategic services Jill Beene are associate partners.  
The agency recently launched its first-ever app, for Novo Nordisk's NovoSeven. “It's actually a lifesaving app,” says Schofield. “The company is excited about it, the agency is excited about it.”
Novo Nordisk has tracked six lives saved as a result of the iPhone/iPad app, Coags Uncomplicated, which helps docs spot bleeding disorders, says Schofield.
“It was developed with some of the key opinion leaders in the field of hemophilia,” says McLaughlin. “The uptake has been amazing.”
The agency also executed the DTC launch for Hologic's heavy menstrual bleeding procedure NovaSure, including digital, TV, print and retail. And the shop's Wave of Hope campaign for Gilead Sciences won an MM&M Silver Award and was a finalist for a Clio Healthcare Award. The unbranded campaign, which trumpeted new guidelines encouraging earlier treatment of HIV, featured an eye-catching red tidal wave composed of AIDS ribbons.
2010, says Schofield, “was one of those years where the planets aligned and a lot of things got launched. You spend a lot of time working on things up to launch and they just happen to collide.”
The shop's top client is Merck, and CDM's parent Omnicom Group was one of the winners in Merck's recent advertising consolidation. CDM Princeton handles the company's women's health business, including Implanon, Nuvaring and Cerazette ex-US, along with Dulera. Other top clients include Novo Nordisk (NovoSeven), Gilead (Truvada and TMC278) and Shire (Intuniv for ADHD), as well as Hologic and Baxter, for which the shop is handling the global launch of immunoglobulin HyQ for primary immune defects (PID).
Consolidation continues to be a stress point for agencies, say McLaughlin and Schofield. CDM Princeton came out on the wrong end of a huge consolidation by Johnson & Johnson—then their top client—two years ago. They were more fortunate when Merck consolidated their business into Omnicom, Interpublic and a confederation of indie agencies.
“We're having a great run with Merck right now,” says Schofield. “We're forging a great relationship with them.”
Keeping clients—and staff—on top of the fast-evolving digital media game is constant struggle.
“It's part of our business that keeps growing,” says Schofield. “It's helping our more conservative clients come around. They always say that pharma's behind on this, but we have some clients who embrace it and love it and others who need to be convinced a little bit more. It's a fun challenge.”
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