GHG (Healthcare Communications)
Report by Lynn O'Connor Vos
President and chief executive officer
GHG, one of the world's leading healthcare communications companies, achieved solid overall growth in 2007 with several categories achieving exponential growth, notably in the search, access and contract sales areas. In a year of tremendous change for the pharmaceutical industry, GHG made key moves, including strategic acquisitions and focusing on multi-channel digital programs that resulted in major new business wins and high industry visibility.
Our Total Communications offer includes a broad array of integrated marketing tools: strategic services, branding and consulting, online and offline professional and consumer advertising, medical education, access management, search optimization, medical illustration, contract sales and sales training expertise.
In 2007, GHG grew its US business organically and won new assignments from several top pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, Wyeth, Eisai, Boehringer Ingelheim, Genentech, Novartis, Essilor, Par Pharmaceutical and Pharmion. Asia Pacific and Europe had double-digit growth, with star players GHG London, GHG Germany and s&kGrey winning assignments from Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, Novo Nordisk and Bayer Schering-Plough.
Our creative work earned numerous awards in 2007, breaking records for the network. They included the Cine Golden Eagle for Medical Animation Excellence; Gold Freddie Award; Med Ad News Gold Finalist for Digital Marketing and more than 20 Rx Club Gold and Awards of Excellence. The awards covered every discipline and showcased our numerous pro bono campaigns, including both the Helen Keller and Jed Foundations.
Over the years, GHG has grown organically and through carefully-chosen strategic acquisitions. One of the most notable of 2007 was our acquisition of WG Consulting, the leading managed care/market access strategy company in Europe, which achieved double-digit growth in 2007. WG Consulting works with New York-based Access Strategies to develop tactics for gaining entry and favorable placement on formulary rosters. Clients are quickly finding that GHG's managed care and access expertise is one of our most important capabilities.
GHG's 2006 acquisitions, Madrid-based advertising agency CyS; New Jersey-based Vogel-Farina, a leading specialty oncology agency; and search engine company Catalyst online, continued to outperform. Catalyst online had an especially strong year, achieving double-digit growth and firmly establishing its dominant place in the industry.
The pharmaceutical industry is more challenging than ever. The channels of communication are changing, consumers are becoming more empowered, and the web has permanently altered the dynamics of healthcare conversations. GHG understands those changes and has established a leadership role in the industry, helping clients understand and embrace multi-channel marketing. Our senior executives have been vocal advocates of integrated digital communications, speaking at US and international conferences, gaining clients, and laying the groundwork for a new way of marketing.
Our premier digital company, Summit Grey, led the way. In 2007, the company was awarded many new assignments and given Interactive Agency of Record status by several leading pharmaceutical companies. Summit Grey's sister company in Germany, Summit Grey Freiberg, was named Roche preferred interactive vendor and, in partnership with Summit Grey, named Agency of Record for Wyeth Hemophilia digital business. In addition, Summit Grey Freiberg continued to win clients and assignments and worked closely with UK-based WG and DarwinGrey to create multi-channel programs, helping form GHG's European digital "think tank".
GHG expanded the US oncology and acute specialty pharmaceutical capabilities of its medical education companies, Phase Five Communications and International Meetings & Science, resulting in strong organic and new business growth. GHG's European medical education companies, DarwinGrey and s&kGrey, showed double-digit growth executing local and international programs for new and current clients.
We will continue to marshal every company and resource in our expanding network to align our clients closer to physicians, payers, patients and consumers – and to improve health outcomes.