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W.A.R marshals forces for healthcare push

Published on 16/01/04 at 12:10pm

Independent marketing communications agency Ware Anthony Rust has consolidated its healthcare accounts into a new division prompted by the sector's potential for expansion.

W.A.R. Life, as the division is to be known, will be based in Cambridge along with its parent company and will focus on the marketing communications needs of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and OTC companies.

Head of W.A.R. Life Jane Wilson said: "Traditional models no longer meet the needs of the industry and are being challenged. Opportunities are opening up for those nimble enough to apply consumer marketing skills and integrated communications effectively in this sector."

Ms Wilson moved to W.A.R. Life from Torre Lazur McCann, where she had been senior account director, and previously held roles at Bates Healthworld, Mars and American Home Products.

"The consumer, or the patient, is becoming ever-more powerful in choosing which brands or products they will use. The agencies and brands of the future need to respect that and need to be communicating with more than just healthcare audiences," she said.

W.A.R. Life inherited Ware Anthony Rust's current healthcare clients such as Medic International and British Nursing Association at its launch at the beginning of this year. Its portfolio of services will include advertising, design and interactive work, PR, and direct marketing.

Ms Wilson is joined at W.A.R. Life by Richard Bland, creative director design, and Dale Haste, creative director advertising. The division will then work as a fully integrated agency, dipping into its parent company's healthcare expertise in PR or account management, for example, as and when needed. She hopes this will prevent it from becoming set in its ways.

"It's one of the dangers of becoming specialised, that if you work predominantly in one industry then you begin to think in one way," she said. "I really believe that healthcare agencies are becoming a bit too inward looking and that by bringing in some of the expertise and skills that the consumer agencies have that we can serve healthcare clients much better."

Chief executive of Ware Anthony Rust John Wilson (no relation to Jane) said: "We set up W.A.R. Life in response to strong demand for a fresh approach to healthcare marketing.

"The nature of the healthcare markets and associated regulations make it of critical importance that W.A.R. Life combines a clear understanding of the issues with hands-on experience."

According to communications industry body IPA, Ware Anthony Rust is one of the UK's top ten agencies with headquarters outside London and also the sole UK member of agency network Dialogue International.



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