McCann has made the following appointments:
- Sean Riley, currently executive creative director, McCann Health Southeast Asia, is promoted to the newly created position of executive creative director, McCann Health Japan and North Asia.
- June Laffey, currently executive creative director, McCann Health Australia, is taking on additional responsibilities in Southeast Asia. Her new role is executive creative director, McCann Health Australia and SEA.
- Adam Weiss, currently executive creative director, McCann Health Japan, is promoted to the newly created post of executive creative director for science, McCann Health Japan and Korea.
- Pierre Loo is appointed executive creative director, McCann Health Greater China, overseeing Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Prior to joining McCann Health, Loo served as regional professional director at Red Fuse Communications in Hong Kong, which followed positions at Young & Rubicam Group and Sudler & Hennessey.
- John Scott, currently associate creative director, McCann Health Singapore is promoted to creative director, McCann Health Singapore.
According to Graeme Read, president of McCann Health Asia-Pacific, in the future every brand will be a “wellness” brand. With information at their fingertips, consumers have become the key decision-makers in their own health—and brands that play a positive role in a consumer’s wellness will stand to gain.
"Healthcare communications is transforming as a result of digital innovation, the knowledge-empowered health consumer and increasing attention to disease prevention by all stakeholders," John Cahill, global CEO of McCann Health told Campaign Asia-Pacific. "The next big transformation in pharma will be a shift towards a service-brand logic that has become central to other industries, from automotive to banking to technology."
Read added that the consumer healthcare journey used to be simple, but that the “ecosystem is now blurred”. In the past, a person would simply go to a doctor and a pharmacy for advice, but now “health professionals are more sidelined”.
While the healthcare industry remains highly regulated, Jeremy Perrott, global chief creative officer at McCann Health, observed that the healthcare industry is hiring a new breed of brand marketers who are eager to transform healthcare communications.
“It’s no longer the pharmaceutical sales guy who is also doing the marketing,” said Perrott. “Now you’re starting to see sophisticated and savvy marketers move into the industry, which signals that change is happening.”
In response, McCann Health has created the executive creative director for science role, a “new scientific and medical storytelling creative discipline”.
“Adam Weiss will be writing the rulebook for this newly created ECD for science role, but the overall mission is to make science sexy,” said Perrott. “It won’t be long before other agencies follow. Think about the last time you went to a science museum and felt that feeling of awe. That’s what we want to create.
“I’m telling my guys that I don’t want to see conventional things. I don’t want to see an idea in print. I want to see a hologram. I want to see people wanting to touch and interact and continually know more about the healthcare brands and partners that we create for.”
Perrott has also laid down other ground rules for his newly formed creative team.
As global creative director, Perrott joked that he’s just a figurehead, except when it comes to failure (referring to McCann Health’s fourth consecutive year winning Global Award’s Healthcare Agency of the Year), for which he’ll take “full responsibility”.
“When we win though it’s not because of the creative directors," Perrott added. "It’s because of the partnership between the agency and the client. I won't tolerate ‘I did this’ or ‘I did that’ from any of my creatives. Without our clients we wouldn’t be able to do anything.”
Although Perrott has the highest of ambitions for McCann Health, he is also realistic about what can be achieved.
“We’re not a global hot shop where everything we touch turns to gold, and any agency that tells you that is being unrealistic,” said Perrott. “But the culture and people we have means that the potential to produce ground-breaking work is always there."
Whether that happens depends on client willingness and the strength of the agency partnership. "Different clients have different expectations," he said. "And partnerships sometimes involve convincing people to try things that may be out of their comfort zone. Our goal is to work with our clients long enough to get them out of their predictable place and deliver what is unexpected.”