Torre, Gross and Townsend named to Medical Advertising Hall of Fame

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The Medical Advertising Hall of Fame announced that it would induct Joe Torre, Alan Gross and Jane Townsend at its February 8 awards dinner.

Gross and Townsend, of Gross Townsend Frank Hoffman (now part of ghg) fame, are husband and wife. They met at ER Squibb & Sons – she a journalist-turned copywriter, he a sales rep with degrees in microbiology. Gross became director of advertising at Squibb, and Townsend moved on to stints at Kallir Phillips Ross and Shaller Rubin before the two, now married, launched Gross Townsend Frank Hoffman in 1978. She became, in the process, the first female partner in a major healthcare agency and mentored a generation of female execs in healthcare advertising. Gross and Townsend sold the shop to Grey Advertising in 1986 and retired in 1993.

Joe Torre, of Torre Lazur fame, started out as a pharmacist before moving to Roche, where he worked in sales, marketing research and marketing. He joined Healthmark Communications as an account supervisor in 1977 and two years later launched Salthouse Torre Ferrante, which later became Torre Lazur Healthcare Group, which he positioned as “The Launch Agency.” He sold the shop to McCann Worldgroup in 1996, foreseeing the importance of global reach, and built an international network of agencies with 50 offices worldwide before retiring this past January.

The Medical Advertising Hall of Fame Annual Awards Dinner will be held Tuesday, February 8, at the Pierre Hotel. Tickets go on sale November 12 at the MAHF website.
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