ERL licenses the software to customers who then -- almost always -- hire the agency to supply it with content. ERL will also deliver a media plan to drive interest. The agency gets a performance bonus if participants perform certain actions. "Doug and I came up with this concept on a napkin," Murphy remembers.
Ideas like that won Euro a place back on Novartis' roster, a client that previously axed the shop in (yet another) agency consolidation. "We worked three years to get back into Novartis," Burcin says. ERL is Novartis' digital and social media agency.
Euro RSCG Worldwide PR president Marian Salzman was "instrumental in the Novartis win, Murphy says. "Marian works like the rest of us, very hard, 24/7, in front of clients all the time," says Murphy. The pop-culture prognosticator, perhaps best known for popularizing terms such as "metrosexual" and "singletons," brings a fresh perspective. "Ninety-percent of clients are looking outside of healthcare for insight and Marian walks in with her vast expertise," says Burcin. "They love having her in the room."
Today, the agency has the luxury of choosing more of its clients. It declines any contest in which a client wants to keep pitch materials, even for payment.
"We turn pitches away. We're selective now," says Murphy. (They did not pitch the Medtronic business. Says Goodheart: "We had done a review and none [of the contenders] had quite worked out. I knew Doug and Donna from before so we had them come in and present and we really liked what they had to offer.")
Formally, what ERL offers is four separate agencies -- Euro RSCG Life MetaMax, Euro RSCG Life Chelsea, Euro RSCG Life LM&P and Euro RSCG Life Catapult -- with varying specialties. They all offer full-service from the wider Euro RSCG Life network, including specialist agencies such as Euro RSCG Life Medicom (for medical education) and Euro RSCG Life ManagedEdge (for managed care). Clients can pick the one they're most comfortable with, and ERL houses conflicting clients in different units.
"There hasn't been one time over the past five years that I've been global CEO where Donna and Doug haven't put their heads together to address some of the most challenging business situations," says Havas Worldwide Global CEO David Jones. "They deliver results and they lead the industry in creating a place where people really do want to come to work each day."
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