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Ad giant IPG is creating a new division to take on rivals WPP and Omnicom for healthcare dollars

Dana Maiman, FCB Health CEO, will lead the new practice.

  • Ad holding company IPG plans to launch a global healthcare marketing division.
  • IPG plans to merge its two largest healthcare agency networks, McCann Health and FCB Health under FCB Health CEO Dana Maiman.
  • It wants to take more share from rivals WPP, Omnicom, and Publicis, which started healthcare divisions several years ago.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Advertising giant IPG plans to form a new healthcare and pharma unit from healthcare specialty divisions of FCB and McCann, its two largest ad agency networks, said two people with knowledge with the matter.

IPG wants to capture a larger share of what’s become the fastest-growing part of the ad business from rivals WPP, Omnicom, and Publicis, which each started healthcare divisions several years ago.

The still unnamed practice will launch in July with FCB Health CEO Dana Maiman as its CEO, reporting to IPG CEO Philippe Krakowsky, said one of the sources, who has direct knowledge. They said the leaders of McCann Health, who had previously reported to McCann Worldgroup CEO Bill Kolb, would report to Maiman. Most jobs are expected to be unaffected at the unit, which will employ several thousand people around the world.

The source said the company’s goal was to combine its most successful healthcare divisions under a respected executive to get more big clients like Cigna, a recent win. They said FCB Health and McCann Health would retain their names but share resources and clients and that the new business would have its own profit and loss statement.

Healthcare marketing boomed for ad agencies in the pandemic as people paid more attention to their health and as providers rushed to meet a booming demand for digital services as everything went remote. A recent market research study predicted that US pharmaceutical advertising would grow 6.1% over the next five years, hitting $24.7 billion by 2026.

In IPG’s first quarter earnings call, Krakowsky credited McCann Health and FCB Health, among others, with helping the company return to growth after pandemic losses. FCB Health won 100 new clients, hired 800 people, and saw revenue rise by more than 23% under Maiman.

“Historically, the healthcare and pharma marketing worlds lag behind in digital. 2020 was a major catch up year for them,” Jay Pattisall, principal analyst at Forrester, said. “The sales model broke down when pharmaceutical [companies] lost access to hospitals and doctors were too busy to engage. Digital transformation is the only means to reach the healthcare system, and [it’s] an important patient touchpoint.”

IPG declined to comment. Several IPG employees said rumors of a new network have persisted for months but that the company has not shared any details with staff.

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