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News in brief

Our weekly round-up of news in brief

Ignite launches ëunbranded disease educationí service
Irvine, California-based Ignite Health, a healthcare advertising agency, has launched a new unit called Incendia Health Studios, which will develop and distribute unbranded disease education programs via the internet and other digital technologies. The new company will be headed up by Fabio Gratton, who will also retain his title as chief innovation officer at Ignite Health. Gratton is a former Hollywood screenwriter and one of Igniteís founding partners. Before founding Ignite, he ran an interactive division of FCB Healthcare West. Incendiaís education programs will not promote specific products, but they will be funded by advertising, sponsorships and grants. ìTaking a page from Hollywoodís motion picture studios, the company will develop projects in much the same way movies are made, from the creation of compelling story concepts through the securing of financing and selection of distribution channels,î the firm explained. Incendiaís first projects will focus on HIV, cancer, diabetes and hepatitis B.

New healthcare contracts at Ogilvy
The Washington, DC, office of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide has won several key healthcare-related contracts over the past two months, including work from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Mitretek Healthcare. The CMS agreement is an ëindefinite delivery indefinite quantityí (IDIQ) umbrella contract, under which Ogilvy will work with CMS over five years to plan, develop, produce and deliver consumer-based communications targeted primarily to recipients of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The CDC contract calls for Ogilvy to provide support for the CDC Business Responds to AIDS program, which promotes workplace education programs on HIV/AIDS prevention for business and labor audiences, as well as to work on a multi-year awareness campaign on gynecological cancer, a five-year campaign aimed at getting Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables, a safe driving campaign for teenagers, and terrorism preparedness training for healthcare workers. For Mitretek Healthcare, Ogilvy will provide marketing communications support to help increase the companyís visibility and strengthen its brand identity.

People ñ MS&L hire
Manning Selvage & Leeís Atlanta office has hired Kerry Traubert to serve as senior vice president, public affairs, effective immediately. Traubert will have responsibility for overseeing MS&L Atlantaís public affairs, community affairs and issues management practice. She joins the agency from the Fund for Theological Education, a national educational fellowship association based in Atlanta. Earlier in her 25-year career, she served as the director of communications for the Arthur M Blank Family Foundation, served in international, corporate and marketing communications for the Coca-Cola Company, and did a stint at Golin-Harris/Chicago. 

People ñ Cone corporate responsibility VP
Boston, Massachusetts-based communications agency Cone has hired Henk Campher to serve as its new vice president, corporate responsibility. Campher joins the agency from the London, England-based International Business Leaders Forum, a non-profit organization that develops corporate responsibility strategies for major corporations. He spent two years serving as the forumís director of corporate policy and practices, working with companies including Pfizer and Unilever. He has also worked closely with international development agencies and organizations, including the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS. ìAs we work increasingly on global issues from sourcing to environment to human rights, Henkís experience adds great value for clients,î Mike Lawrence, executive vice president of Cone, said in a statement.

Liver disease awareness
The American Liver Foundation is introducing a new awareness program, entitled ëDiet and Your Liverí, which is intended to draw attention to the causes and consequences of fatty liver disease, a condition associated with obesity that is a leading cause of cirrhosis. The non-profit organization is kicking off the program to help mark October as Liver Awareness Month. The campaign will include a toolkit containing information and diagrams explaining the role of diet in liver health, which will be used by foundation staff and trained volunteers in educational presentations around the country. The foundation will focus on raising awareness about a different aspect of liver health each October.

New Rainmaker clients
Rainmaker & Sun, a Sherman Oaks, California-based integrated marketing firm whose specialties include public relations, has added two new healthcare clients to its roster: Assured Pharmacy, which is a chain of specialty pharmacies that provides advanced prescription services to medical professionals and patients, and Restore Medical, which develops, manufactures and markets a minimally invasive, implantable medical device to treat sleep-disordered breathing. The agency has been contracted to create integrated marketing plans for both companies, including public relations, direct brand-building initiatives, grassroots marketing, and online marketing. 

Merck hair loss Web site
Merck & Co has launched a new Web site designed for men who are seeking information on male pattern hair loss. The site, www.hairlosshope.com, will be continually updated with information on myths about hair loss, tips for treatment and industry news. It will feature podcasts, interactive programs, a quiz that men can use to help determine their hair-loss stage, and a tool to help visitors find a doctor in their area who can evaluate their hair loss. During October and November, Merck will also be hosting ëGet Your Head in the Gameí information booths at select college football games, with the dates and locations of the booths posted on the new Web site. Merck sells Propecia, the only pill approved by the FDA to treat male pattern baldness.

30th September 2008

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