Top 100 Agencies 2015: Flashpoint Medica

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A Polycythemia vera disease-awareness ad from Flashpoint Medica on behalf of Novartis Oncology
A Polycythemia vera disease-awareness ad from Flashpoint Medica on behalf of Novartis Oncology

It was a busy year for Omnicom Diversified Agency Services' Flashpoint Medica. A lot of big new business wins helped drive revenue up by 15% as the New York City–headquartered agency brought home a number of creative awards while opening a San Francisco office. 

“While we had a tough beginning in 2014, it turned into a good year,” says CEO and managing partner Charlene Prounis. “To me, that means our strategy is working. Our mantra is ‘Big thinkers think better together.' Creative, digital, strategy, ­account and medical teams all work together to come up with ideas. It's a very integrated approach [that yields] great results for our clients, 90% of which are blue-chip companies.”

Among last year's wins was an AOR assignment on Celegene's cancer drug Abraxane (in collaboration with Omnicom sibling CAHG). New client American Regent named Flashpoint digital AOR for Injectafer (IV iron) and AOR for the overall brand this year.

Long-time client Novartis awarded global AOR designation on two indications of JAK inhibitor Jakavi and expand­ed work on Afinitor (cancer) to include promotional education. New global strategy, positioning and creative concept work on BP med Edarbi came in from Takeda.

The agency also picked up new positioning and creative concept work for cardiology diagnostic test (Single Molecular Counting Technology) from Singulex. Med-ed work on Genentech's Actemra (AA) was lost, and a management turnover claimed work on Meda Pharmaceuticals' Aerospan (asthma). 

As access to physicians continues to decrease, Prounis notes non-personal promotion is increasing and the multichannel approach is picking up steam. 

She expects to see the use of wearable technology and delivery of the health data collected to help doctors adjust therapy both to increase. 

Characteristically, Flashpoint is doing impressive digital work. Prounis says last year was a big year for responsive websites, which were created for Injectafer, Afinitor, Aerospan and Prostraken's Sancuso. The agency also created digital programs for Afinitor, including the game-based “AfiniSpin” and an interactive, video-based “True Sleuth” program.

Prounis sees a merging of tech and creative and notes the agency is collaborating with tech partners in the early stages of program development. She says account managers are transforming into digital strategists and notes the agency has invested heavily in internal training to drive digital expertise. 

Finding talent continues to be a challenge, particularly on the copy side, and Prounis has noticed a lot of agency hopping among project managers. 

“Project management has changed,” she says. “The business is now much more digital and project management is more complex. Understanding the complexity of jobs from both a timing perspective and from a multivendor perspective takes more skill. So good project managers are in demand and people are stealing talent.” 

There are about 85 employees on staff. Nicole Johnson was named managing director of the San Francisco last August. Steve Witt and Kerry Baker were named co-creative directors.

 The agency will celebrate its 10th anniversary this summer. “Culture is my top priority,” Prounis says. “If your people are happy, your clients will be happy and the money will follow.” 

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