100 Agencies: Concentric Pharma Advertising

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Partner and COO Ken Begasse, Jr. and partner and CCO Michael Sanzen
Partner and COO Ken Begasse, Jr. and partner and CCO Michael Sanzen

Concentric had a transformative year in 2011. Digital and analytics continued to gain momentum, the leadership team was strengthened, and revenue climbed 20% to a record high. Additionally, after an 18-month informal working relationship, MDC Partners acquired a majority stake in Concentric last September.

“We transformed from being a boutique independent agency into an agency that can be more applicable to more clients and larger clients,” says partner and COO Ken Begasse, Jr.

Begasse is very pleased with the MDC deal. The agency has been partnering with MDC shops on various engagements, including working with Kenna to build a sales-enablement platform offering for all clients, and an official healthcare collaborative within MDC launched this year.

“It allows us to be extremely competitive and provide something that's unique,” Begasse explains. “We've worked closely with Attention! on prospecting and on existing business. We've integrated their social point of view and expertise into recommendations for all patient communications, and we help them understand healthcare needs so we can play in a much deeper and more relevant social conversation, which many pharma companies are still struggling with.”

Headcount was basically flat at about 100. Senior hires included EVP, CFO David Drucker, and business analytics director Igor Rusinov. Account and creative hires included EVP director of client services Jennie Fischette; SVP, director of accounts Pam Rogers; SVP creative directors Christa M.E. Moeller and Jeff Hughes; and James Driscoll, VP, director of creative services. The agency is still in the market for a head digital strategist.

Nine new accounts were added to the roster. The US office won AOR status for migraine treatment Levadex from Map Pharmaceuticals/Allergan, and for a GI launch brand from Ferring Pharmaceuticals. It was also awarded patient and professional AOR work for both Onset Dermatolgics' Aurstat and for Quest Diagnostics' PCP division, plus rep training and rep program work for Novartis's Menveo vaccine. Onset awarded AOR for Locoid (topical hydrocortisone) this year.

The UK office landed X-US AOR status for Genetech's Tarceva (lung cancer); Helsinn's Aloxi (chemo-induced nausea and vomiting); and Roche Global's Actemra (rheumatoid arthritis). Additionally, it won corporate branding and communications work (X-US) for Auden McKenzie (niche medicines).

Three pieces of business were lost from ­existing clients Salix Pharmaceuticals and Oceana Pharmaceutical due to consolidation after Salix acquired Oceana.

Digital accounts for 40% to 45% of work, and Begasse expects that to increase ending 2012.

“Strategy is still our core value— helping clients map out strategy and coordinating digital implementation of that strategy,” he says. “Many companies are using what they would call multichannel execution, but there's really not a cohesive coordinated plan around it. Much of our growth is related to being at the epicenter of the digital ecosystem and coordinating, implementing, and driving learning from that ecosystem.”

An LA office will open within the year (most likely housed with MDC agency 72 & Sunny).

“Now that we're part of MDC, we're applying our expertise to the broader healthcare industry,” Begasse adds. “Our growth isn't going to be solely driven by pharma anymore.”
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