IPG Health has consolidated its agency brand roster, folding McCann Health New York into Area 23 and consolidating McCann Health New Jersey and Hill Holliday Health under the new Rise & Run banner. The moves, formally announced during a Thursday morning town hall meeting, streamline the network’s brand offerings and, in so doing, create two agencies of considerable size and ambition.

According to IPG Health CEO Dana Maiman, the changes represent a natural infrastructural evolution within the network, which itself launched on July 1, 2021. By way of example, she noted that McCann Health NY has been led by Area 23 group president Renée Mellas and chief creative officer Tim Hawkey for nearly two years.

“They’d been doing it as a kind of living-together arrangement — you know, ‘We’ll see how it goes,’” Maiman explained. “Now we’re formalizing the marriage.”

The unification of Hill Holliday Health and McCann Health NJ as Rise & Run, on the other hand, was more about complementary strengths.

“Hill Holliday Health has always been predominantly a consumer/DTC agency, while McCann Health New Jersey was much more focused on HCPs,” Maiman said.

Linda Bennett, who has led Hill Holliday Health for the last half-decade, will head up Rise & Run as president. Former McCann Health NJ president Jill Beene has shifted to a different leadership role within the IPG Health network.

In the wake of the consolidation, Area 23 becomes one of the industry’s largest agencies, with just under 1,200 people under its roof. Based on data submitted for the 2024 Agency 100, MM+M estimates that the combined 2023 revenue of Area 23 and McCann Health NY was $355 million, representing a 5% jump over the agencies’ estimated combined revenue of $338 million in 2022.

Left to right: Dana Maiman, CEO of IPG Health; Linda Bennett, managing director, Hill Holliday Health; Renée Mellas, group president, Area 23; Tim Hawley, chief creative officer, Area 23.
Left to right: Dana Maiman, CEO of IPG Health; Linda Bennett, president, Rise & Run; Renée Mellas, group president, Area 23; Tim Hawkey, chief creative officer, Area 23.

Rise & Run debuts with approximately 500 people on its employee rolls. MM+M estimates the combined 2023 revenue of Hill Holliday Health and McCann Health New Jersey at $129.5 million, down 2% from an estimated $132.5 million in 2022.

As for the Rise & Run moniker, chief commercial officer Mike Guarino said IPG Health leadership responded strongly to its inherent optimism. “We love the idea of rising, of rebirth and of growth, and we’re linking it to something that shows forward momentum,” he explained. “It’s very progressive, very forward-looking.”

There was another practical reason to move away from the Hill Holiday Health brand: Interpublic Group sold Hill Holliday and Deutsch New York to Attivo Group, a New Zealand-based marketing conglomerate, earlier this year.

“We wanted to get rid of any complexity or confusion that would emanate from IPG no longer owning the name,” Maiman said.

Asked about other monikers considered for Rise & Run, Guarino responded with a laugh. “Come on — it’s like naming a kid. You don’t tell your in-laws anything else you were thinking about, because they’d say, ‘I like the other one better.’”

The mergers won’t require calling the movers. Area 23 and McCann Health NY have been occupying the same building for some time, while Rise & Run will maintain the three existing locations of Hill Holliday Health and McCann Health NJ (New York City, Boston and Parsippany, New Jersey).

Maiman and Guarino said no layoffs are anticipated and that there are no conflicts, client-related or otherwise.

“There will be absolutely no disruption to our business or our clients at all,” Maiman noted. “It’s very, very clean. We’re excited about clean.”