Well, here’s the “interesting news” that we briefly alluded to last week in our post regarding Ned Russell’s move up the Publicis Healthcare ladder. First off, 15-year-old, bi-coastal, healthcare-focused digital agency Heartbeat Ideas, which boasts 90 staffers and works with notable pharma clients including Novartis, Pfizer and Sanofi, has aligned with the Saatchi & Saatchi healthcare roster. Now, New York-based Saatchi & Saatchi Health and Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness will operate as one entity under the latter name while Heartbeat will now carry the somewhat long-winded name of “Heartbeat Ideas, a member of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness” and “Heartbeat West, a member of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness.” The combined agencies will still be housed under the Publicis Healthcare Communications Group umbrella.
As far as leadership goes, Heartbeat founder/CEO Bill Drummy will remain at the helm at Heartbeat while joining the leadership team at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness that also co-managing directors Kathy Delaney (who also retains her role as global CCO at PHCG) and JD Cassidy. In a statement, Drummy says, “For fifteen years, we’ve been on a mission to bring a more effective, digitally-forward approach to healthcare marketing. By becoming a member of Publicis Groupe and Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, we now have the opportunity to be a critical ingredient in an entirely new agency formulation for healthcare clients, one that is thoughtfully designed to turn the new realities of the rapidly changing healthcare marketplace to our clients’ advantage.”
On another note, while folks on the Spy line have mentioned staffing adjustments at S&S Health/Wellness a few times over the past week, we’ve been told otherwise by the PHCG camp. We’ll keep you posted if we hear of any more developments. Update: Sources in the know tell us that there are “some people” who have left the organization, but not because of downsizing and Saatchi Saatchi Wellness is currently hiring.