Gaynor Settles In At B-M Healthcare

Believing advertising might be a better outlet for her creative abilities, Debra Gaynor was on the verge of leaving the public relations industry before taking her new post as chief creative officer at Burson Marsteller’s healthcare unit. But a call to a friend working at B-M changed that.

During the late-December conversation, Ame Wadler, head of B-M’s healthcare practice and a former colleague at Edelman, suggested Gaynor come in for a meeting. Gaynor, who had been chief creative officer of Weber Shandwick’s global healthcare practice and president of the Interpublic Group firm’s New York healthcare office for 10 years, received a job offer from Wadler shortly after the meeting.

“I love specializing—I feel like I go to medical school half the time, and the other half I get to be creative,” said Gaynor, 49, who joined the WPP-owned shop late last month.

Gaynor, who reports to Wadler, is responsible for creative and strategic consulting across B-M’s healthcare practice, particularly consumer programs. Her duties eventually will include new-business efforts.

The position was created in an effort to address the increasingly consumer-oriented slant of marketing in the healthcare sector, Gaynor said. B-M’s healthcare client roster includes Aventis, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Allergan. The shop’s 2002 revenue was about $175 million, according to Hoover’s Online.

Before Weber Shandwick, Gaynor served as evp of Edelman’s healthcare practice. The New Jersey native, who has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University, started out as a reporter at the Morristown Daily Record in New Jersey. During her career, Gaynor has worked on accounts such as Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson.