Gillespie Boosts Healthcare DM

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The healthcare group created by advertising agency Gillespie's acquisition of healthcare marketing firm RAR & Associates plans to search for new ways to deliver targeted healthcare messages.


"With changes in regulations, particularly those governing pharmaceutical advertising on television, a lot of agencies are taking a mass-marketing approach," said Richard Romagnola, who will lead the new group, called Gillespie/RAR Healthcare, as managing partner. "We really want to go direct to new markets."


Romagnola was founder and president of RAR & Associates, which was acquired at the end of February for an undisclosed sum. Before its acquisition, RAR, Short Hills, NJ, reported annual billings of $15 million and had worked with clients such as Janssen, Merck, Novartis and Schering-Plough.


RAR had targeted at-risk groups -- such as African-Americans, who have higher incidences of diabetes -- with healthcare marketing, Romagnola said. Together with the added direct and database marketing capabilities of Gillespie, Princeton, NJ, the new division will look at new ways to target patients.


"Strategically, we wanted to go direct to patients and professionals, and Gillespie has a great deal of experience in direct marketing," Romagnola said. "We've done some direct and targeted marketing but we've been limited."

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