For agency creatives, seeing their handiwork plastered across public transit is like actors seeing their names in lights: barely contained excitement. The Precisioneffect team experienced this sensation last fall when the agency’s London office partnered with Merck Sharp & Dohme on a campaign to promote HPV vaccinations in boys.

“It was strong, it was simple and it showed up everywhere,” says chief creative officer Deborah Lotterman of the campaign, which ran on buses and in tubes across London. “As a creative person, a bus is just the best.”

The public awareness campaign stands as a fine example of what the Precisioneffect team strives to create: work that attempts to break through barriers and promote real behavioral change. “We seek to change the standard of care,” says agency president Carolyn Morgan. “We are always looking for clients that are going to welcome that challenge with us.”

Morgan points to work on a new fertility treatment (“the first in nearly a decade”) and in digital therapeutics (“we’re defining a category that didn’t exist before”) as other examples.

Precisioneffect continued its steady growth during 2019. It boosted revenue by 6%, to $36.8 million from 2018’s sum of $34.6 million. Staff size increased from 175 at the end of 2018 to 185 at the end of 2019. Morgan is particularly proud of the performance of the agency’s flagship Boston office, which she reports saw 20% year-over-year growth.

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That said, 2019 presented something of a tale-of-two-cities scenario for Precisioneffect. The firm’s Los Angeles office endured two major losses, Acer Therapeutics’ vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome drug Edsivo (which failed to pass FDA muster) and Amgen’s multiple myeloma drug Kyprolis (due to agency consolidation).

Morgan says that Precisioneffect’s overall growth in the wake of the losses speaks volumes about its overall cohesiveness. During 2019, the agency dedicated considerable time and resources to evaluating its internal infrastructure, seeking to find new ways to increase workflow efficiency and promote company-wide cultural cohesion. To do so, Precisioneffect perfected its Zoom game and adopted workflow software designed to boost its ability to share work across time zones.

The agency made one significant hire on the personnel front, bringing in former CTP director of human resources Jenny Love to step into the newly created role of VP of talent and culture. “She has taken the office by storm,” Morgan says.

Morgan states Precisioneffect is already enjoying the fruits of its labor, as the agency’s unification efforts gelled right before the COVID-19 pandemic upended life as everyone knew it. To hear Morgan tell it, Precisioneffect had little trouble shifting into virtual-agency mode and, as a result, business hasn’t slowed.

If anything, we’ve been seeing an uptick,” says Morgan. “We had no idea we were preparing to thrive in a pandemic.”

The best marketing we saw in 2019…

Slow Turkey is built on a simple but deep insight: that it’s hard to give up smoking when it has become entwined with your day’s activities. Turning the icy phrase “cold turkey” into the comforting idea of “slow turkey” sparks the inevitable and yet surprising character. He’s beautifully crafted and cast; we hang on his every torpid action. — Deborah Lotterman