The Top 75: RCW Group

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Being part of Interpublic Group's McCann Healthcare Worldwide, one of the largest networks outside the US, has been a blessing for RCW Group. “Almost all of our assignments now are global,” says Maureen Regan, managing partner, reeling off the names of several major accounts.
One of the most notable of its global launches is Pradaxa, the Boehringer Ingelheim anticoagulant. Leveraging its McCann partnership, the agency is responsible for US and global professional advertising. “Pradaxa will have one look and concept around the world,” Regan says, adding that this is relatively innovative for the primary care space.
The group has also landed three fresh global accounts: work on multiple brands for Millennium-Takeda and Sunstar, as well as Alexion's biologic Soliris for orphan disease PNH.
RCW Group rode its new work to a 10% revenue increase last year, prompting a headcount increase from 220 to 240. Regan says this year's forecast is to exceed 2010 earnings. “Last year was an interesting one because, although we had minimal pitch activity in the first half of the year, we went crazy in the last half.”
Contributing to the performance, full-service shop Regan Campbell Ward (which dropped the “McCann” from its title) added unnamed oncology work at Bristol-Myers Squibb and an assignment at Sigma Tau for orphan drug Cystaran, which is under FDA review for treating patients with Cystinosis.
And West Coast division RCW McCann Healthcare re-pitched and won professional duties for Amgen's Nplate for chronic ITP, then picked up Amgen's colorectal cancer drug Vectibix and Prometheus' Proleukin for metastatic renal cell carcinoma. In addition, the La Jolla shop opened a New York branch last summer.
Account losses have been minimal, according to Regan. Novartis reassigned the gouty arthritis indication for orphan drug Ilaris to IPG sibling Draftfcb Healthcare.
Otherwise, work continues apace on Allergan's Lap-Band and BMS chemotherapy Ixempra. For Novartis roster brand Afinitor, Regan Campbell Ward has been launching two new indications, neuroendocrine tumors and SEGA, globally. Interactive arm MedRageous developed a virtual learning center for Pradaxa sales reps, crafted an mTOR site for Novartis, and hired Joanne Borek as digital creative director at the end of 2010.
The group has conducted audits to assess skill sets, and training, under the guidance of chief talent officer Matthew West is an agency hallmark. “As the overall trend toward digital continues for traditional agencies, we're very well positioned,” says Brendan Ward, creative partner.
With the goal of bringing its skill sets to a different category, RCW Group spun out a new division, McCann Global Health, in 2011 to take advantage of opportunities between the public and nonprofit sector. The unit is staffed by a social epidemiologist and a former VP of global health for the UN Foundation. One of their first grant proposals was submitted to the US Agency for International Development for decreasing infant and maternal mortality in impoverished countries.
Says Rich Campbell, strategic partner, the division “recognizes the growing importance of global health initiatives and the unique needs and skill sets required to address them.”
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