Publication: Med Ad News
Date of Publication: 08/2009
Article Author: Gina-Louise Monari
U.S.-based pharmaceutical clients now have an opportunity to tap the resources within Eurocom Healthcare Communications Network. The Eurocom network concept was initiated in late 2003 and formally established in 2006, comprising independently owned communications agencies in the live major European countries and the U.S.-based healthcare advertising agency Topin & Associates.
As the network rolls out an initiative to familiarize itself among companies who seek solutions for their global brands, Tony Chant, president of the London-based agency Eurocom Healthcare Communications (www.eurocomhealthcore.com), and managing director of the network, explains that the network brings the skills and talents of the diverse group together to provide a communications solution to clients rather than selling them an advertising idea. Although Eurocom is not the first independent network to come into the marketplace, Mr. Chant says the network offers a number of differences.
“You have individuals within the countries that know their countries well and can make decisions quickly,” Mr Chant told Med Ad News. “So whatever the client wants to do, they are able to speak to the very top management – the owner of those organizations – and they can get the network to make very fast decisions for them, which I don’t think the other networks can do in quite the same way.”
One case in point is the launch and ongoing promotion of the Azilect brand, marketed by U.S.-based Teva Neuroscience Inc.(www.tevaneuroscience.com). Topin & Associates was chosen as the global branding agency for the launch of Azilect, for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The brand was to be launched globally with H. Lundbeck AS (www.lundbeck.com) as a joint-marketing partner in Europe. The Eurocom network was instrumental in the development and execution of the launch campaign.
From the beginning, Topin and the Eurocom network shared input and worked as a team on brand positioning, key message development, creative, and market research. Together, the agency and network navigated through challenges, such as promotional restrictions with the product, and worked to refresh the global branding for Azilect.
“As we were working on Azilect for Tevo Neuroscience and Lundbeck, we did the global branding with Tony, and we worked together from inception,” says Al Topin, president, Topin & Associates (www.topin.com). “Then as it rolled out, Tony did the brand book in Europe and worked with a number of other agencies to do the rollout.”
According to Mr. Topin, the network has provided the agency with a broader reach, a certain amount of additional capabilities, and knowledge and insight that was not available before. Mr Topin says because brands are often global from their inception, pharmaceutical companies no longer seek a simple linear launch if possible.
“They need to get out everywhere at once, and so for us to have that kind of resource puts us in a different competitive position,” Mr. Topin told Med Ad News.
Mr Chant says the larger networks are finding it difficult to evolve at the speed that the market conditions are evolving and changing. As the marketplace has changed, Eurocom has been able to adapt itself to what the market is looking for.
“We can be more responsive than some of those larger networks,” Mr. Chant told Med Ad News. “They’re trying to turn around a much bigger ship in terms of who they are, what they are, and how they’re seen in the marketplace.”
Mr Topin believes that although agency networks such as Omnicom Group (www.omnicomgroup.com), Wpp Group (www.wpp.com), andIPO Group (www.interpublic.com) do have global reach, the agencies within them are competing against each other for business.
“We are less competitive with each other,” Mr. Topin says. “We all benefit if we do a solid job, and business will hopefully expand from the clients’ point of view because they see that we’re doing the best for them without fighting over it. We’re able to respond without worrying about turf.”
The Eurocom network comprises the London-based communications agency Eurocom Healthcare Communications; the U.S.-based agency Topin & Associates; the German-based communications agency Brand Health GmbH (www.brand-health.de); the Italy-based advertising agencyScience Adv (www.science.it); Breathe Health (breathehealth.com) in Madrid and Barcelona; and the France-based communications agencyCanal 55 (www.canal55.com). The network’s core capabilities include advertising and creative services, branding and strategic marketing, digital and new media, market research, medical education, and public relations. After a client hires an agency, Mr Chant allocates efforts to the other network agencies on an as-needed basis.
According to Mr. Chant, the next few years will be interesting as pharmaceutical companies face challenges in terms of cost containment. In addition, clients are looking for their communications agencies to be more creative. On the horizon, Eurocom is looking at the potential for partnerships in Japan and emerging markets, such as Eastern Europe and Asia. These regions are anticipated to be important in the healthcare pharmaceutical market in the future.