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Renamed agency responds to pharma's strategic aims

Published on 31/03/05 at 12:11pm

Healthcare communications agency Brader Perryman has changed its name to Seven Stones, a move designed to reflect its diversity of experience and give senior employees broader ownership in the company.

The company says it has also invested in its strategic and consumer skills to meet growing demand from the pharmaceutical industry for services in these areas.

The changes have been made under the leadership of newly appointed managing director Graham Hewitt, a former vice president of global marketing and business analysis at General Electric, previously known as Amersham Health.

"When Brader Perryman was founded 14 years ago, it literally comprised Tracey Brader and Alex Perryman. Inevitably, things have moved on," he said.

"Tracey has retired and we now have a 20-plus team including experts in new media and brand planning, as well as a team of account directors with consumer, OTC and international experience."

In the past few months Seven Stones has won a string of new business pitches, including accounts for Abbott (Humira), AstraZeneca (Arimidex and Faslodex), Biogen Idec (Avonex), Eisai (Zonegran) and Novartis (Exelon).

The agency also won the account to develop the identity for Takeda's groundbreaking new regional account directors, an identity that was then extended through the company's Actos and Amias brands.

Seven Stones recently made a significant investment in its strategic and consumer expertise as a result of the changing needs of its customers.

The changes were led by how the agency perceived pharmaceutical companies to be changing.

"A lot of companies, including AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, have been running marketing excellence programmes which adopt branding approaches that consumer products go through," said Hewitt.

A recent industry survey conducted by the agency through a web-based questionnaire found that over 80% of clients felt that consumer-type branding of pharmaceuticals would become increasingly important.

For 72% of those questioned, it was considered only a matter of time before DTC became a reality in Europe and 58% felt that strategic input on their products was somewhat lacking.

The central London-based full service independent agency's other clients include Chiron Corporation, GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer.

Commenting on the new name, chairman Alex Perryman explained: "For those who are familiar with Brader Perryman, Seven Stones will take on many of the existing brand associations. But over time, it will come to encapsulate the new agency offering. Seven Stones will become a brand in its own right."

She said the move away from a company name made up of individual names would encourage broader ownership among the senior employees who have helped to make the business what it is today.

The choice of Seven Stones was intended to give the agency a blank canvas for its future development and part of a deliberate decision not to use the principal names.

"We also didn't want to go with a name that described what we do, such as 'the Really Strategic Creative Agency' because we think that should come from what you do and not what you say you do. So you become known for those skills and values through experience of working with you and what you deliver and not what you call yourself," added Hewitt.

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