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VICOM/FCB FORMS DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER UNIT UNDER DOUG BRUCE

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

VICOM/FCB FORMS DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER UNIT UNDER DOUG BRUCE, former director at Saatchi & Saatchi consumer subsidiary Klemtner Advertising of New York. Bruce is a senior VP at Vicom/FCB and managing director of the new consumer unit, which will be based in New York City. VICOM/FCB President John Loden explained that the new unit "is designed to take advantage of two trends: the sharp rise in direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs and the growing number of prescription products switching to over-the- counter status." Other medical specialty agencies have been making similar moves: Kallir, Philips & Ross announced last month that it planned to build its direct-to-consumer in-house capabilities by adding staff to its consumer division and moving into consumer marketing of OTCs ("The Tan Sheet" March 1, p. 15). KPR's consumer division, until now, has focused on professional marketing of OTCs. Explaining the phenomenon, Bruce suggested that "direct-to- consumer and Rx-to-OTC assignments require a special combination of consumer and professional expertise." He noted that pharmaceutical marketers are "increasingly . . . looking to consumer units within pharmaceutical agencies to handle these projects." Bruce joined VICOM/FCB, a healthcare marketing subsidiary of Foote, Cone & Belding, in January after managing the expansion of Klemtner's Consumer Healthcare Group since 1988. At Klemtner, Bruce handled the direct-to-consumer campaign for Upjohn's Rogaine (minoxidil) hair loss drug and Lederle's consumer campaign for its ProStep nicotine transdermal patch. Prior to working at Klemtner, Bruce was with New York-based Ogilvy & Mather for 17 years, including three years as general manager of Ogilvy & Mather Healthcare. While at Ogilvy, Bruce handled the 1982 Rx-to-OTC switch of Schering-Plough's Drixoral in an ad campaign that touted the product as the "pharmacist's favorite." Although the new division has not yet established any accounts, VICOM/FCB noted that it is in discussions on two specific direct-to-consumer assignments drawing from the firm's existing roster of clients. The agency said it hopes to announce these new accounts later in March.

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