Top 100 Agencies: Dudnyk

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An ad for Densply's Nupro family of products
An ad for Densply's Nupro family of products

Dudnyk expanded from its home base in Hor­sham, PA, to San Francisco last summer by acquiring Stratagem Healthcare Communications. While revenue was basically flat for 2012, the agency is well positioned for growth.

“We laid the foundation for the next five years with the West Coast acquisition and continual investment in our digital talent and platforms,” says president Frank Powers. “We'd known Stratagem for more than a decade, and its diversified roster, which includes many specialty products, device and diagnostic companies, is very synergist to Dudnyk's roster.”

Roche Molecular Diagnostics is the flagship client of Dudnyk's San Francisco office. All Stratagem employees were retained and new digital, strategy, development and account management talent was hired, bringing total staff across both offices up from 63 in 2011 to 73 now. Former Stratagem partner Susan Hempstead is running the California office as SVP, account management and strategy.

Change was also afoot on the East Coast, as EVP, chief creative officer Barry Schmader retired early this year. Dudnyk's reputation for exceptional creativity is in no small part due to Schmader, who spent decades nurturing homegrown talent. His succession was carefully planned, and he left three strong leaders at the helm. Becky Bodenner, who was named SVP, creative director, is heading creative overall with creative directors John Kemble and Laurie Bartolomeo overseeing art and copy, respectively.

Despite FDA delays, which are par for the course many of Dudnyk's biotech, device and specialty product clients, it was a good year for new business. A highlight was winning AOR status for leukemia treatment Erwinaze (acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals last year).

“Our focus on orphan disease and specialty products is exemplified by our ability to win Erwinaze,” says EVP, chief scientific officer and director of business development Christopher Tobias, PhD. “It's a high science area that needs truly strong strategic and scientific input and great creative. All the best strengths of our agency can be applied to this brand.”

Paris-based Nicox awarded AOR status for ophthalmologic device AdenoPlus (its first US commercial launch) and corporate brand work. Other new AOR wins include two devices from Zimmer Surgical and digital AOR work on Neurostar's Neuronetics, a magnetic therapy device that treats depression. Plasma Surgical awarded corporate project work.

Agency consolidation claimed work with long-time clients Merck and AstraZeneca, a device from Carticept Medical was lost after being sold to another company and the agency resigned AMAG's Feraheme when marketing leadership changed.

All clients are increasingly transitioning to digital selling models for professional promotion, and Powers notes that brand teams have a lot more digital knowledge than they did just a few years ago.

“There were always digital specialists, but brand teams are so much more digitally sophisticated now,” Powers explains. “It's part of who they are as a brand, and agencies have to be adept.”

Already this year the agency has won two new pieces of business and is a finalist in two other pitches. Powers expects double-digit growth for 2013. Positions are open on both coasts, and hiring great talent is a priority. 

“With our strong creative, clinical, strategy and account teams working together on our brand building process we're able to get continual excellent creative results,” Powers says. “Our team is hard to beat.”
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