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Agency Veterans Launch Flashpoint Medica

The agency’s mission is to ignite and spark new opportunities in pharmaceutical marketing. Risa Bernstein and Charlene Prounis are once again embracing the entrepreneurial spirit through the cofounding and launch of Flashpoint Medica, an agency with a passion for identifying new opportunities in pharmaceutical marketing. Flashpoint is a member of the Omnicom Group of healthcare communications companies. Ms. Bernstein and Ms. Prounis were cofounders of Accel Healthcare, which later merged to become Corbett Accel. Ms. Bernstein was chairman, and Ms. Prounis was chief marketing officer. “We’ve been part of Omnicom since 1999, when we founded Accel,” Ms. Bernstein says, pointing out that the agency’s track record — a five-year climb from zero to $135 million in billings — had made it among the most successful start-ups in Omnicom history. Omnicom also was interested in the concept behind Flashpoint, which is based on the idea that there are moments in every brand’s life when the timing is right, interests converge, and connections are made. “We believe that advertising tools can serve as the sparks that ignite growth at those critical points when decisions are being made and actions are being taken,” Ms. Prounis says. “A brand will experience a multitude of life-cycle ‘flashpoints’ that can catapult its growth trajectory,” Ms. Bernstein says. “For example, the moment when the customer insight is first uncovered is a threshold ‘flashpoint,’ leading to that ‘just right’ positioning that secures a brand’s legitimate place in the market. Additionally, we have identified some newer ‘flashpoint moments’ in our communications space, such as those between the sales rep and the doctor and between the doctor and the patient, when untapped opportunities can be leveraged.” The new agency, which also specializes in traditional core competencies such as full-service brand development and promotion, is evolving new specialty areas to uncharted space in the pharmaceutical marketing communications arena. “We want to make the sales reps more valuable to the doctors,” Ms. Prounis says. “If the reps are better equipped to get a dialogue going, they’re going to get more ‘face time’ with the physician. The same is true of the patient-doctor relationship as well. We know that the patient is the future of our business, but we don’t think the focus should be simply DTP or DTC; the doctor is still central. The critical juncture is the moment in time — the flashpoint — when doctor and patient interact.” The other members of the Flashpoint management team are Helen Appelbaum, partner, a trained pharmacist, and David Frank, creative director. A brand will experience a multitude of life-cycle ‘flashpoints’ that can catapult its growth trajectory, says Risa Bernstein. We believe that advertising tools can serve as the sparks that ignite growth at those critical points when decisions are being made and actions are being taken, says Charlene Prounis. CommonHealth Launches Altum CommonHealth has launched Altum — meaning “depth” in Latin — a new full-service, free-standing professional advertising and promotion company differentiated by a specialized creative and scientific approach. Altum was created with the concept of “depth” as part of its approach. The agency plans to integrate the art of communication with a deep-rooted understanding of science and biotechnology. Michael Parisi oversees the day-to-day operations of the new venture as executive VP, general manager. The new organization reports to David Chapman, president of Ferguson, CommonHealth’s founding professional advertising and promotion unit. “Our 360-degree approach to promotion is based on total marketplace immersion to identify the ‘strike points’ for all stakeholders to create in-depth, medically sound communication to drive brands,” Mr. Parisi says. Altum is the seventh CommonHealth company to organically spin off from the organization’s Ferguson agency. The other units are Adient and Noesis, both professional advertising and promotion agencies; Conectics, a media planning services group; ProCom, a medical-education company; Quantum, the organization’s consumer advertising and promotion unit; and Xchange, its relationship marketing group. Our unique process, coupled with the drive and passion of our team, makes Altum’s services unlike any other currently available in the industry, says Michael Parisi. Follow up Altum, Parsippany, N.J., a unit of CommonHealth, is a full-service professional advertising and promotion company. For more information, visit commonhealth.com. CommonHealth, Parsippany, N.J., is a leading healthcare-communications network and a WPP Group company. For more information, visit commonhealth.com. Flashpoint Medica, New York, specializes in traditional core competencies, such as full-service brand development and promotion, as well as new specialty areas in the pharmaceutical marketing communications arena. For more information, visit flashpointmedica.com. Omnicom Group Inc., New York, is a leading global advertising, marketing, and corporate communications company. For more information, visit omnicomgroup.com.

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