Eyeing DTC Market, Leo Burnett Launches LeoHealth

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Sixty-five-year old advertising megaforce Leo Burnett, Chicago, jumped full scale into consumer healthcare marketing this week with the launch of its new specialty group brand, LeoHealth, a dedicated unit representing $150 million in billings.

The new initiative is expected to develop traditional branding campaigns for healthcare products and services as well as integrated advertising and direct marketing packages for the growing DTC pharmaceutical sector.

According to LeoHealth CEO Toby Sachs, the new division will work closely with Leo Burnett rather than exist as an autonomous organization.

"We realized we had a fairly specialized practice with a few clients and so we decided to expand. But there is a definite strength in the way that we are currently structured" said Sachs. "We currently have 45 people that work on LeoHealth and about 15 are full-time creative people. But because we're staying very much a part of, rather than a part from, the [larger group] we have unique resources we can tap into."

Leo Burnett's client base in healthcare has grown steadily over the past four years, and Sachs said the growth is related in part to a relaxation of the Food and Drug Administrations rules governing DTC advertising two years ago. He said LeoHealth would be focusing on two types of business for the foreseeable future: integrated healthcare offerings and projects where healthcare clients are looking for a traditional consumer branding agency with the background and ability to offer one stop shopping.

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