The Top 50: Torre Lazur McCann

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The agency, which bills itself as the go-to for launches to professionals, picked up business on two mature products: Advair and Avodart, both won as part of GlaxoSmithKline’s consolidation of business into McCann parent Interpublic Group, as well as the company’s promising oncology portfolio, including Tykerb. Torre Lazur already handles GSK’s Requip for Restless Leg Syndrome and Parkinson’s and its Veramyst allergy drug, which launched in spring.

Torre Lazur also won the global professional account for Novartis and Idenix’s Hepatitis B drug Tyzeka/ Sebivo and expanded its business with Adams Respiratory Therapeutics, taking on the Mucinex pediatrics line and Humibid. Torre Lazur handled professional on the franchise’s flagship account before Adams took consumer in-house. Other key accounts include J&J/Eisai’s Aciphex, Ethicon/Endo’s surgery business and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Plavix, for which Torre Lazur holds both the advertising and the managed markets business.

Torre Lazur’s strategic planning department is picking up steam under the leadership of VP-strategic planning Hilary Gentile, who was promoted from account director/managing supervisor. The firm’s multimedia business, launched last year, is growing “slow and steady,” says CEO Marci Piasecki. Freshly branded as Torre Lazur Active Ingredient, the division, headed by Brett Nichols and Jennifer Dee, does its largest share of work in video, but interactive is increasingly in demand. Piasecki says Active Ingredient, which recently won an assignment from Bracco Diagnostics, will serve as the point of a new corporate campaign aimed at broadening the shop’s brand beyond launches.

“We know there’s equity in that,” Piasecki says. “We didn’t want to abandon that—we wanted to evolve it, and let customers know that we bring that same rigor and intensity that we do to a launch to everything we do, whether it’s a large or small client, whether we’re launching a brand or putting a new face on it.”

Piasecki was on the Interpublic Group team that represented the holding company in its successful talks with GSK. Grappling with the ongoing wave of consolidation and the advancement of procurement continues to present challenges to agency execs, says Piasecki. “Companies approaching us about consolidation are not just out to save money,” she says, “they’re also looking to repurpose money. GSK wants to compensate agencies for high-level thinking and big ideas, and then they might be able to look at other services.”

Client demands for ROI are another challenge. Piasecki says Torre Lazur will make use of McCann Group proprietary technologies for calculating ROI. “We’re fortunate to be part of a larger network that’s putting tools in place to address this stuff,” Piasecki says. “It’s better than starting from scratch. It’s a little more challenging when you’re looking at [the return on] CRM and media placement than it is for direct selling, but over the next year, we’re going to take those tools and adapt them to the healthcare space.”

The shop marked a milestone this year as co-founder and former chief creative officer Mike Lazur left to form a new agency. The agency’s other namesake, former McCann Healthcare head Joe Torre, ascended to a network role at Interpublic Group. 
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