A year ago it was clear that Juice Pharma Worldwide was plotting a push to the next level. Revenue spiked 12.9%, pushing it just below the $50 million milestone; the agency’s client base doubled, from 18 AOR assignments to 35; and headcount grew by 20% to 180.
“It was a banner year, our best ever,” enthuses Lois Moran, president and CEO. “And many of our clients had their best year ever, too.”
For many of its projects, Juice handles professional, consumer, and digital work. “We’ve trained the creative teams over the past six years to be able to navigate quickly between the HCP and consumer conversations,” notes chief innovation officer Forrest King. “So they’re fluid in all of those different strategies and tones of voices.”
Juice scored new AOR assignments from Valeant (Onexton for acne vulgaris and Addyi for hypoactive sexual desire disorder) and a potential blockbuster (Xifaxin, which Valeant markets for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea). Similarly crucial to the company’s growth was a major push within oncology, solidified by a clutch of AOR wins from Novartis Oncology (Votrient for advanced soft tissue sarcoma, Jadenu for myelodysplastic syndrome, and gastrointestinal and lung-tumor indications for Afinitor). In fact, Juice’s oncology fee base doubled, rendering it the agency’s second-largest therapeutic category.
Another area of expansion has been biotechs, with AOR wins from Neurocrine Biosciences (valbenazine for tardive dyskinesia), Ultragenyx (rare and ultra-rare disease portfolio) and BioMarin (Vimizim for Morquio A syndrome). “Rare diseases have really become an area of mastery. We can pull these communities together and communicate with them in a way that’s very impactful,” says Moran.
The frosting on the client cake occurred when Valeant tapped Juice to produce its Super Bowl spot for toenail fungus treatment Jublia.
“They had previously spent a ton of money [elsewhere], but they were not happy with the spots,” King says. “We were brought in to do a makeover, which was very successful.”
Juice execs also herald the rise of the firm’s San Francisco office, which tripled in size with three AOR wins under the guidance of GM and technology advocate Ben Putnam.
The growth extended to Juice offshoots. Earlier this year the agency launched Zest Adaptics, which attempts to adapt existing content into fresh communications. Its motto-cum-mantra, King says, is “refresh, not rethink.”
The agency is about to roll out another new entity, Juice Emerge, which will focus on bringing emerging technology and innovation to clients. “We needed a team to go in and say, ‘Hey, let’s look at this from a different perspective,’” King says.
As for challenges ahead, King stresses that clients need to adopt a mobile-first mindset. “They’re still applying desktop thinking to mobile,” he explains.