Online Pharmacy Shifts Account From GSD&M to T3 in Austin
DALLAS–T3 (The Think Tank) has acquired the advertising account of Rx.com, an online pharmacy and health information center scheduled to launch in late September.
The $10-15 million account will be one of T3’s largest, advancing the Austin, Texas, agency’s goal of becoming a national presence, said representative Laura Nell Soules.
Separately, CBS said last week it was acquiring a 20 percent equity stake in Austin-based Rx.com in return for $37.5 million worth of advertising through the network’s TV, radio and outdoor media for five years. Those billings will be reflected on T3’s balance sheet, even though money will not flow through the shop.
The account was awarded without a review, after the fledgling Rx.com had spent several months working with the biggest agency in its hometown, GSD&M.
Said GSD&M representative Eric Webber: “We never had a signed contract with [Rx.com]. We had a relationship and did some work for them and found out that it wasn’t going to work out. I think that GSD&M and Rx.com have different perspectives on the entire relationship.”
“I think they just wanted that hands-on feeling, and the thing about T3 is that we’re very hands-on,” said Soules about the agency switch.
T3 ramped up its online capabilities earlier this year with the hiring of Jason Shaw as director of Internet strategy. Shaw previously oversaw the consultancy Avatar Technology in Austin.
The client now offers over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbs through its startup Web site (www.Rx.com). By the time the venue is fully functional, doctors will be able to prescribe medications and patients will be able to pick up their prescriptions via the Internet. The site will also offer access to licensed pharmacists 24 hours a day, provide health-related information and issue refill reminders by e-mail.
T3’s creative concept will encompass the idea of “healthcare first, Internet second,” according to Soules. “[Rx.com principals] didn’t just start an Internet business and then look for a concept. These people do have a heart and they’re in this business to make healthcare better. So this will be evident in our creative positioning.”
T3 will be responsible for national branding efforts, including advertising and media planning and buying. The actual Web site will be designed by Organic Online in San Francisco, whose other Internet clients include Barnes & Noble and Nike.
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