Ekman to head Saatchi NY pro shop

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Publicis Healthcare Communications Group has named Anders Ekman managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi Health Communications New York, the flagship professional healthcare agency of the Saatchi brand.

Ekman joins the company from Performant LLC, an Inter/Media Group-owned “pay-for-performance marketing company” that he founded in 2010. Ekman, who has spent 20 years in the marketing and advertising worlds, also served stints at McCann Worldgroup's MRM Worldwide, where he was EVP, and at Digitas, where he led client relationships including GM and AT&T. He reports to Sam Welch, president of PHCG North America advertising.

The shop was previously led by Dave Marek, who moved upstairs to serve as a worldwide business director on Publicis' Sanofi business last year before he joined the financial consultancy Inferential Focus as managing director.

Ed Nathan, previously the shop's strategic director, replaced him as lead on the Sanofi business. Dobbi Massey and Martha Crane continue as executive creative directors (art and copy, respectively).

“Over the last several years, we have concentrated on building our “future-focused” capabilities in key areas such as analytics, relationship marketing, and channel planning,” said PHCG's Welch. “Anders brings a breadth of experience in these areas and will help accelerate the forward movement of our entire organization.”

Ekman also brings expertise in turnarounds to the Saatchi shop, long known for blockbuster launches but increasingly focused on smaller specialty brands. The agency reduced headcount by around 30 last year through attrition to 170 amid flat revenues, drug development disappointments and the loss of the professional advertising assignments for Amgen/Pfizer's Enbrel, which it had handled for 13 years, and Sanofi Pasteur's vaccines business, which moved to sibling Saatchi & Saatchi Innovations. Revenue-wise, the shop has continued to tread water in 2011, though buoyed by the win of an assignment on a big new drug.
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