Firms Debut DDB Corbett To Serve Healthcare Market

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Healthcare marketing firm Frank J. Corbett Inc., Chicago, and brand-based advertising agency DDB Chicago, officially launched DDB Corbett this week -- a joint venture direct-to-consumer healthcare group with billings of $1.2 billion.

Alan Pilkington, chairman at DDB Chicago, said the union will result in a more brand-centric approach to marketing for healthcare clients. The partnership will be headed by managing directors Elaine Eisen, who comes from Corbett as a business unit director, and Charles Austin, a vice president and group account director at DDB Chicago.

The new company said it expects to see significant growth in the healthcare arena in the coming months, and estimated that overall DTC spending will increase from $1.3 billion in 1998 to $1.87 billion this year. "Add to this mix the number of lifestyle-enhancement drugs, nutriceuticals and cosmeceuticals entering the market, and it's obvious the growth potential is unlimited," said Scott Cotherman, president/CEO at Frank J. Corbett. "One of the most common problems with DTC programs today is that the core message directed to consumers often differs from the message that health professionals see and hear. In many cases, this is the result of the client using two agencies and implementing two different approaches."

Cotherman said DDB Corbett is actually a new business model in which the creative teams from both groups -- consumer and healthcare professionals -- work side by side to create a more "fused message."

DDB is a member of the Omnicom Group. It is the largest advertising agency in the United States, and the third largest agency worldwide, based on consolidated gross income. Frank J. Corbett is a unit of Omnicom's Diversified Agency Services.

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