Orencia Moves to HealthWork

BBDO, CDM Joint Venture

Orencia is the latest brand to move to HealthWork, the collaborative effort between BBDO New York and Omnicom healthcare corporate sibling The CDM Group. Bristol-Myers Squibb shifted the rheumatoid arthritis medication from Corbett Worldwide Healthcare Communications, after a review.

In 2012, Orencia spent $53.4 million on measured media advertising, according to Nielsen. That amount does not include digital ad spending.

The working relationship between BBDO and CDM, formerly known as Cline Davis & Mann, began last year with the win of the influenza product, Tamiflu, and has expanded to include other brands like Abilify, used for the treatment of  depression and schizophrenia. The joint venture grew out of a lunch discussion between John Osborn, president, CEO of BBDO N.Y., and CDM’s chief creative officer Josh Prince to see how they could combine BBDO’s consumer insights with the professional focus and regulatory know-how of CDM, Omnicom’s largest healthcare agency. 

“We didn’t want to just hang a new shingle,” said Osborn. “This is a way of aligning BBDO’s consumer expertise with CDM’s healthcare resources. We felt there was a shared commitment to creating break-through work.”

CDM’s Prince, who often has impromptu meetings with fellow Connecticut commuter Osborn on the train, said the joint-venture model is different from the more typical holding-company team approach.

“We’ve seen this from holding companies where it’s like an arranged marriage, agencies being told they have to work together,” according to Prince. “This is different in that it is a merger of mutual desire and strengths. We sought each other out. “

The two companies have identified talent from both organizations and create bespoke teams for client assignments. There are now some 35 people, who are full-time employees of BBDO and CDM, associated with HealthWork.