True North Consolidates Healthcare Units

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True North Communications Inc., Chicago, has begun a global restructuring of its healthcare marketing service offerings, merging all of its units under the FCB Healthcare division, which is part of the FCB Worldwide agency brand.

Although FCB HealthCareWest was formed when Fair Riley Call/Bozell, Costa Mesa, CA, became part of the company's San Francisco office, this latest move brings together FCB's Bozell Global Healthcare group (acquired in September 1999) with FCB Healthcare East and FCB Healthcare International.

As part of the shift, True North said it is integrating its offerings in medical education and interactive services -- two of the most dynamic segments of healthcare communications. As part of that integration, Xygote becomes True North's interactive healthcare brand and ProHealth will be its medical education banner.

David Bell, chairman/CEO of True North, said that the organization had made a commitment to continued expansion and that "key geographic areas remain for non-U.S. healthcare acquisitions for FCB -- which we will be adding aggressively internationally."

Brendan Ryan, CEO of FCB Worldwide, said the new organization would be able to tap into FCB's global advertising, database and research resources as it goes about "delivering seamless solutions worldwide."

John Loden, formerly president of the FCB Healthcare agency, remains at the helm of the organized agency but now assumes the title of chairman/CEO.

FCB Healthcare is now a top 10 U.S. healthcare marketing agency. Total annual billings are expected to exceed $260 million. Clients include Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Merck & Co., GlaxcoWellcome and BlueCross BlueShield.
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