BBDO Forms Healthcare Unit

NEW YORK BBDO has established a division called BBDO Health Work, devoted to healthcare marketing that will focus on direct-to-consumer and pharmaceutical advertising, the agency said.

Anne Devereaux, most recently president of DVC Worldwide, a healthcare company in Morristown, N.J., was named president of BBDO Health Work, reporting to BBDO North America CEO Andrew Robertson.

Devereaux, 40, was previously president and founder of Consumer Healthworks, which specialized in DTC advertising. In 2000, the company merged with Omnicom’s Merkley Newman Harty & Partners to form Merkley Newman Harty Healthworks. She became president and COO of the division.

In a statement, Robertson said: “In Anne Devereux, we have finally found the person to make this happen. The combination of Anne’s energy, her strategically driven thinking, her in-depth understanding of the pharma industry and BBDO’s creative firepower should make a very compelling offer for clients looking for breakthrough work in this incredibly challenging category.”

Devereaux tapped Jeremy Meilman, 32, as senior account planner for BBDO Health Work. Meilman comes from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in New York, where he helped establish the shop’s healthcare division. Prior to that, he co-founded and was strategic planning director for Fine Healthcare in South Africa.

Robertson and Devereaux said they have ambitious plans for the new company and expressed confidence that it would show growth within six months. The two said they expect it to become a global entity within BBDO Worldwide.

Alka-Seltzer and Alka-Seltzer Plus, Bayer, Lubriderm, Nicotrol, Oral-B, Phillips Milk of Magnesia and Rogaine are among BBDO New York’s consumer healthcare clients. The shop also handles Pepsi, Visa, Campbell Soup, Cingular Wireless, DuPont, Federal Express, Frito-Lay, General Electric, Guinness, HBO, KFC and M&M/Mars, among others.