Euro RSCG Life LM&P is coming off a “successful and transformative” year, says president David Paragamian, boasting major client wins in New York and Chicago and a more unified agency structure. LM&P's New York office picked up a pair of accounts from the agency's top client, Pfizer—for Revatio and Thelin, both pulmonary arterial hypertension treatments—while wooing a new client, Eisai, with an assignment for a new hospital product in late phase III clinical trials. Meanwhile, the agency's Chicago office expanded its business with King Pharma, landing Cyanokit, and won a big corporate rebranding effort for the University of Chicago Medical Center.
“Not only were new clients added but existing clients gave us more work in both cities,” says Paragamian.
The shop lost its assignment for Selzentry when GSK/Pfizer joint venture Viiv Healthcare consolidated into Torre Lazur McCann. “That's always a disappointing thing,” Paragamian concedes. “It was about staying close to clients, doing the right things, adding new business all while transforming.”
As for the transformative part, the agency, which turns 30 in August, beefed up its digital, med ed and managed markets capabilities. “So we're a much different physical agency than we were a year ago,” says Paragamian. “We made great strides in really operationalizing our ‘Future first' positioning and becoming a unified agency.”
Paragamian wouldn't discuss the shop's revenue growth, except to say that LM&P saw growth in 2009 when many firms' revenues were flat. In terms of staff, the agency added 10-15 positions, bringing headcount up around 175.
Among those new hires is EVP, director of client services Christine D'Appolonia, who joined the agency from CDM. The shop also hired Bob Wainright as head of digital strategy, Jay Nuggehalli as head of med ed strategy and Dave Quirck as head of managed markets.
Top clients include: Pfizer, for which the shop handles professional assignments on Lyrica, Chantix, Genotropin, Somavert, Revatio, Thelin and Xalatan; Merck Consumer Care, for Zegrid OTC and Miralax; and Eisai for its new hospital product. The client roster at the shop's 25-person Chicago office includes Takeda, for two CNS products in Phase 3; the University of Chicago Medical Center; and King Pharmaceuticals for DuoDote. “It's a diverse portfolio of large pharma, small pharma, OTC and corporate branding,” says Paragamian. “Four years ago, when I got here, we were almost exclusively traditional professional. Now the classic stuff is only 50% of our business.”
LM&P is doing digital work on all of its accounts, says Paragamian, and is working on med ed and managed markets on almost half of its brands.
“Longevity is sometimes a difficult thing,” says Paragamian, reflecting on the firm's three decades in business. “What's exciting is that it's not just longevity but that this past 12 months has really been a transformative time to build on our strengths and change the agency into something very different, very future-oriented.”
And Paragamian expects to see more favorable conditions over the next year.
“I think 2009 was a year of caution,” he says. “Everybody held the reins pretty tight. What we're seeing this year is that, just like the rest of the global economic market, the climate is improving and clients are launching new products and new campaigns. However, having come through 2009, clients are different—there's an eye on measurement and ROI, and they're doing things differently.”