Jesse Kates, a former creative leader at Neon and Area 23, has joined Concentric Health Experience as EVP and executive creative director.

Kates joined Concentric at the start of this month, reporting to cofounder and chief creative officer Michael Sanzen. Kates has replaced Adam Cohen in the position.

“I realized that [Concentric’s] vision for the future of the industry is very much in line with my own,” Kates said. “It’s an opportunity to be at the forefront of changing what we’re doing in the marketing space. It’s having a chance to sell in authentic solutions to real issues that brands are having and that go above and beyond typical communications, like campaigns, brochures, visual aids, and coming up with innovative ideas that bridge the gap between a great molecule we’re promoting and the patient getting that treatment.”

Kates previously spent seven years at the FCB Health network. For most of that time, he worked in creative roles at Area 23 before moving to Neon as SVP and group creative director last September. Prior to joining FCB Health, he worked in creative and copy roles at H4B Chelsea, Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare, GSW, Wishbone-ITP and Cline Davis & Mann.

Kates said he was drawn to Concentric because of the agency’s focus on innovation in pharma advertising. As executive creative director, he will work with clients on these ideas and finding ways to market products or educate patients about diseases.

“There’s a trend in the industry to do great, breakthrough craft work that can compete even with the best consumer advertising,” Kates said. “In pharma, we deal with brands and disease states that are extremely emotional. I don’t think great emotive advertising is in conflict with highly conceptual work and work with stunning craft. One thing I love about Concentric is I can bring those skills together without sacrificing the emotional side of the work we’re doing.”

Concentric is owned by MDC Partners. In 2018, the agency earned an estimated $56.6 million in revenue, an 18% jump over 2017, according to MM&M’s Agency 100