The Medical Advertising Hall of Fame will induct Robert Baldini, John Corcoran and Richard Cliggott at a special celebration dinner. The MAHF will also honor Audrey Girard with a lifetime achievement award and M. James Dougherty with a service to industry award.
Bob Baldini started out in Big Pharma when it was small,joining Pfizer in 1953 and handling promotion of Pfizer penicillins such asTerramycin and Tetracyn.
“It was a whole different industry back then,” says Baldini.Pfizer had a little over a dozen people on its marketing team during that time.
In 1961, Baldini moved to Geigy, which had its own internalad agency (later C&G Advertising).
He spent 20 years there, starting out in marketing researchand product management before serving as the agency’s director following the1972 merger that created Ciba-Geigy.
Baldini was able to assemble a stellar cast of creatives—inpart because he pushed the company to create a compensation structure thatwould allow C&G Advertising to compete for talent with external adagencies. To make his case, he interviewed execs at ad agencies and from theinternal shops of Abbott and Smith Kline French and came up with a competitivescale. Management relented. “Then we were able to hire true professionals,” saysBaldini. His shop helped make mega-brands like Lopressor and Brethine.
In 1981, he left C&G Advertising to join tiny,Miami-based Key Pharmaceuticals as SVP sales and marketing.
“It was quite a shock going from a well-run Swiss operationto a small startup, but for me, it was like opening a window and letting thefresh air blow in,” says Baldini. “We created a can-do culture.”
On Baldini’s watch, Key marketers helped make relativeblockbusters of drugs like TheoDur ($100 million in peak sales) and K-Dur (over$300 million).
In 1986 Schering-Plough bought Key. Baldini stayed on,ultimately serving six years as president of the firm.
His biggest success at Key was ImDur. Merck had rejected thedrug, an oral formulation of a mononitrate for the treatment of angina. “I saidthey didn’t understand the market,” said Baldini. Key knew the category throughtransdermal nitroglycerin patch, NitroDur, for which it competed withmuch-larger rivals Ciba-Geigy and Searle. “We had lived with nitroglycerin for10 years, and the problem is that it could be used for 12 hours, and then youhad to take a hiatus for 12 hours to avoid tolerance issues,” says Baldini.Imdur offered round-the-clock coverage and became a $450 million brand.
In 1996, he signed on as marketing chief at KosPharmaceuticals, where he helped develop Niaspan and served as vice chairmanfrom 2001 to his retirement in 2006. “Good cholesterol” was a little-understoodphenomena then, and Kos was a virtual unknown. “We had to convince them notonly of the reliability of the product, but of the reliability of the company.”Niaspan was expected to break $650 million in 2007 sales. —Matthew Arnold
Dick Cliggott is perhaps best known for his entrepreneurialstreak that led to an impressive list of firsts. But colleagues also respectedhis honest style and insistence on high editorial standards.
After a stint as district sales manager for Procter &Gamble in 1954, and then two years with his alma matter, Cornell University, asassociate director of development, Dick entered publishing with MedicalEconomics Company in 1959. Over the course of a decade there, he eventuallybecame VP and publisher of Hospital Physician.
Cliggott could have coasted on his sales skills. Instead hesaw the potential of new formats. In 1970 he recognized a need for a categoryof journals to serve the specific clinical information needs of primary carephysicians. That year he founded Cliggott Publishing Company and boughtConsultant magazine from Smith Kline & French Laboratories, relaunching itas an independent journal for a controlled circulation of physicians who becameknown as the “minimass” audience.
Those who worked for him knew Dick as a figure who commandedrespect. “[Dick] was a fairly intimidating man on first meeting. He had a wrysense of humor that didn’t necessarily come out until you got to know him alittle bit better,” said Jon Bigelow, who worked for Cliggott for 20 yearsstarting in 1978.
The way Dick conducted himself personally and in businessparticularly impressed Bigelow.
In addition to a top-tier sales team, “He realized that tosucceed for the long term, you needed to build a good editorial product,” saidBigelow, who eventually became one of Cliggott’s successors as president.
“I turned down other job offers to take what was then avague promise of launching another medical journal,” he recalled. Bigelow’sboss stuck to his word. Six months later, the firm launched the Journal ofRespiratory Diseases.
Next, Cliggott became one of the first publishers to add amedical communications business in the mid-1970s and, after hiring Bigelow, thefirst to start a journal with controlled circulation based on prescribingpatterns.
Of the latter feat, Bigelow, said, “That seems verycommonplace today but was a real departure in 1979.”
The next two decades saw him make prescient investments intechnology, including database communications and physicians’ television andonline education.
Cliggott was also active in various industry groups,advocating for the value of medical journals and for editorial and businessintegrity. These included the Pharmaceutical Advertising Council and theAssociation of Medical Publishing (AMP), which Dick co-founded and led aspresident in 1977.
Cliggott retired in 1998 after 30 years in the business, hisplace as medical publishing visionary secure. He passed away in 2007. —Marc Iskowitz
John Corcoran might be called the Johnny Appleseed ofmedical advertising. Corcoran spent four decades in pharmaceutical promotion,at companies and medical ad agencies alike, and invented the internationalmarket for medical advertising virtually single-handedly.
The New Jersey native began his long career in pharmamarketing in 1964, joining Lederle Laboratories as a sales rep fresh from theMarine Corps, where he was a First Lieutenant (he stayed on in the reserves andlater made the rank of Captain). At Lederle, where he detailed Declomycin andAristocort in Buffalo, Corcoran caught the medical advertising bug. He wentback to school, studying art design at Pratt Institute and taking acorrespondence course on the advertising business. “I trained on every side ofthe business,” says Corcoran. “I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I just knew Iwanted in.”
He put together a portfolio of work, took it around to themedical agencies and landed a job as an account executive at agency powerhouseWilliam Douglas McAdams, working on the Upjohn business. He went on to work atmany of the biggest names in medical advertising— including Robert E. Wilson/BBDO, FCB Healthcare, EuroRSCG Life and HealthSTAR Communications, where heserved as COO.
But it was at Sudler & Hennessey that Corcoran made hisname, exporting medical advertising from the US to the world. As president ofSudler & Hennessey International, he was tasked with establishing aninternational network of 11 healthcare agencies. He set up Sudler &Hennessey’s first international office in Sydney, Australia in 1973 and,shortly thereafter, established a joint venture with Dentsu in Tokyo, Frankfurtand London. Later, as founder and president of Sudler & Hennessey Europe,he opened offices in Paris, Rome and Milan, including Rome-based med ed shopIntramed. It was the first truly global medical agency network.
After 18 years managing Sudler & Hennessy’s globalexpansion, he returned to the US and joined FCB Healthcare as COO. There, hewas involved in major product launches for brands like Singulair, Zocor,Imitrex, Fosamax and Zyban, and initiated the first account planning service offeredby a US healthcare agency—a trick he learned in Europe. Agency revenue grewover 500% over eight years under his leadership. Then, after two yearsoverseeing the global operations of Euro RSCG Life, he presided over the 2000launch of HealthSTAR, expanding operations from its original four offices to 16before his retirement in 2006.
He is also a founding member of MAHF and a longtime memberof the executive committee.
For nearly three decades, Jim Dougherty has steadfastlyserved industry.
On the advice of his “much older sister Peg,” he decided tosell ad space in pharma. That decision took him to Minnesota, where McGraw-Hillpublished its medical journals, of which Jim became group publisher.
Publishing turned out to be a good career move, but it wasDougherty’s unpaid efforts that paid off for industry. As program chairman forthe Pharmaceutical Advertising Council (PAC), he would invite speakers and hosta series of private dinners, hobnobbing with some of the foremost personalitiesin the industry. Jim would go on to become PAC president, its youngest ever, in1990. During his tenure, a new FDA commissioner declared war on pharmaadvertising and communications. “We had to get everybody into the game; it wasliterally war,” Dougherty recalls. “We were instrumental in providinginformation that pushed back some of the encroachment in regulations in CME.”
Subsequently he was asked to join the board of PhRMA, itsfirst board member from the ranks of publishing, and while there worked on theprofessional research that would lead to the Partnership for PrescriptionAssistance. Dougherty also lent his talents to the Association of MedicalPublishers and, as AMP president, he ensured that the group’s members donatedmillions in ad space to the budding partnership.
“‘Do something good and get caught doing it’ was [thenPfizer executive] Karen Kaitin’s line,” Dougherty says.
Maybe it was what he called his “survival mechanism”—aselfless, modest personality that came from being the fifth of seven childrenin a large Irish-Catholic brood—that served him so well. Maybe his family setthe tone: Peg founded the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA).
Regardless, Jim Dougherty has served his industry well. —Marc Iskowitz
At a time when sales reps were called “detailmen” andwomen’s career options in healthcare were typically limited to nurse orsecretary, Audrey Girard led the advertising department of a majorpharmaceutical firm.
Girard learned the art of print production from her fathergrowing up in England. During World War II, she served as a volunteer for theUK equivalent of the Women’s Army Corps., taking notes on the planning forD-Day at Eisenhower’s headquarters. She also met her future husband, an AmericanColonel by the name of William Girard, around this time.
After the war, the Girards came back to the US and settledin Chicago, where her printing expertise helped land her a job in theproduction department of the J. B. Roerig Company, a mid-sized firm specializingin nutritional supplements. When the company was acquired by Pfizer in 1953,Girard moved with it to New York and continued to spite the glass ceiling,rising through the ranks of Roerig to advertising manager, reporting directlyto the president of the company, and becoming one of the first women to serveas a senior executive of a prominent pharma firm. She also became the firstwoman to lead the Pharmaceutical Advertising Club.
At Roerig, she was responsible for marketing successes suchas Antivert, Bonine and Atarax, using heavy direct mail and journal ads todeliver snappy taglines such as “Vertigo, Vertigoing, Vertigone,” for Antivert,a motion sickness treatment. For morning sickness, Roerig offered: “Blue atbreakfast? In the pink with Bonine.” And for tranquilizer Atarax, the firmoffered “Peace of mind”—or, for the parenteral version, “When peace of mindcan’t wait.”
Girard was a notoriously demanding client, but an unusuallygifted one, says MM&M and KPR great Warren Ross, who worked with her at theMcAdams agency. “What she contributed to the creative process was an unfailingability to inspire the agency to do its best and to approve and appreciate goodwork when it was presented,” says Ross, adding that she appreciated the valueof consistent messaging. “All of that made her the perfect client— tough,demanding, highly focused, in fact determined, but at the same time supportive,appreciative of good work and never letting ego get in the way of what was bestfor her employer.”
Girard died tragically young, of cancer, in 1983. Youngerpeople in the industry may not have known her, says Ross, but they stand on hershoulders. —MatthewArnold