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Contact: Gary Pattison, Group Managing Director
on (02) 9955 9500

Gary Pattison

Group Managing Director

Level 2, 72 Christie Street,
St Leonards, NSW 2065

Ph: +612 9955 9500

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Take your shoes off and relax. The OCH Common Room is a place where we share interesting, funny and potentially inspiring snippets of information.


  • Going to make a hit this year?

    After sitting through over an hour of the most glorious moments of rock, I thought to myself, how can a band like RUSH be so different yet so successful through all these years.

    RUSH? You know, the Canadian progressive rock band from the 70’s. OK, maybe it’s just old rockers like me who love this stuff. 

    Anyway, it was about sticking to their guns and not doing what the record company told them. The company said, “Make it hip, make it sound like today”. They said, “NO, we’re RUSH man, we play what’s natural to us, we also know our audience and what they love”.

    So, as we prepare for the numerous healthcare award shows, I hope health agencies have stayed true to themselves. They are out to impress their audience, not just the judges. 
Have they used the latest technology and thinking to make a real difference, not just because it’s cool? Have they hired the best photographer to connect with patients, not their peer group? 

    This is easier said than done. Shows like Cannes Lions have opened the door to the award sharpshooters. The mainstreamers who can smell the opportunity to bag more trophies. 

    Health is easy prey to them and last year was a testament to that. Most of the gold awards were snapped up by non-healthcare agencies. Yes, they had great work but they also have clients that believe in the power of it. Ones that demand briefs to ultimately change lives, ones that want an agency to come to them with inspiring ideas yet are not too scared to go implement them.

    I believe we need to turn our clients onto these shows and the importance of creative excellence and innovation. I know some companies share briefs out to all their agencies with the sole purpose of winning a Lion. 


    Apart from being in the south of France with the sea, sand, talks and parties, they know that brilliant creativity is good for business. They want to be there to soak it up and inspire themselves. They are part of the band. 

    I must admit, it’s a bit hard for me to convince a client from Sydney to jump on a plane (unless we were paying) and join the crowds on the Croisette. But we can bring Cannes back here. Show them what went on, why award shows are worth investing in.  
The trick is to make it relevant – show them the work that challenges the status quo gets results beyond a trophy. We can’t expect our clients to want to move away from their norm unless we do this. We (Managing Directors, Creative Directors, Writers, Art Directors, Account Service, Admin) need to make creativity important for business. If we don’t, the non-healthcare agencies will be taking home health related awards – not you.

    So, as we edge towards Cannes Lions, I am hoping we will see a stack of hits by healthcare shops. Agencies who like RUSH were brave and didn’t just aim to please the jury – they made something that’s truly memorable because it would make a difference to the audience it was intended for.  And, if you happen to get a Lion, well that’s just like getting a gold record, a very heavy memorandum that the work is bloody good.

    Töbe Pickford


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  • A roaring success at Lions Health

    Well the dust has certainly settled and everyone is reflecting on Lions Health 2016. Celebrating, commiserating or wondering what the hell just happened.I was lucky enough to be there this year soaking up the atmosphere of the cote d’azur and attending one of the biggest if not the most prestigious healthcare advertising awards events of the year.

    Cannes Lions Health is now in its third year but it was my first. Overall it was an impressive event, and from what I hear, it was slightly more integrated with the main event than last year. I reckon it could be even more so, with some of the speakers from the main show talking at the LionsHealth. Iggy Pop is the best person to talk pharmaceuticals right?

    I was really there to be inspired by creativity, to talk about creativity and to worship creativity in healthcare communications. Also to see how we measured up against the world.

    I am thrilled and proud to say we did. We only had one entry and managed to score 3 Bronze Lions. It was a great moment for us. It was even sweeter being the only Australian healthcare agency to come away with anything. A massive achievement as we have some great competition.

    But when you look at what’s winning you realise that healthcare agencies aren’t really making a large impact at the LionsHealth, which seems backwards as it’s a health specific show.

    The Grand Prix went to a non-healthcare agency. Only 3 healthcare agencies won Gold out of the 12 Gold Lions handed out. 9 out of the 29 Silvers and only 8 out of the 38 Bronzes across Pharma and Health & Wellness.

    When I looked at the finalists in the mainstream show who also took the stage at Lions Health, I realised they’re going to need an extra suitcase and healthcare agencies are going to have to find more opportunities to do this kind of work. 

    But hey, good on them, Manboobs, and Breathless Choir deserved to win big as it was an inspirational piece of work.

    Yet we can lift our head high. 3 Lions for one piece of work is nothing to sniff at.

    So did I learn anything new? Yeah I did. I found out that the tech companies will be the leaders in health in 5 years time. Your phone will be your health centre and even deeper collaboration with your client and people outside of our normal scope is the recipe to wins awards. Also you can get free drinks at YouTube beach and free food at the Facebook event.

    So what can we as healthcare companies do to win big at Cannes Lions Health next year?

    Ultimately a great idea executed extremely well is all it takes. One that makes the judges jealous, laugh out loud or cry – it’s that simple. But it’s not that simple to do.

    Toby Pickford



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  • See who was top of the pile at the creativity show of the year – Cannes Lions 2016

    The Cannes Lions international festival of creativity has wrapped up for another year. Ogilvy & Mather took out top network for the 5th year in a row.

    See who was top of the pile in 2016.


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  • Cancer awareness

    ​1 in 2 Australian males and 1 in 3 Australian females will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85. Learn how to mitigate your risks here.


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  • Do we need a healthcare awards?

    ​Do we need a healthcare awards show?

    With all but one or two award shows done and dusted for the year, I can honestly say that I have been delighted to see the standard of creativity in healthcare grow from strength to strength. It’s been inspiring but at the same time it’s been frustrating.

    Recently I judged at one of the major healthcare award shows along with some of the industry’s best  – people I respect deeply.

    We had some interesting conversations around a few of the entries. The main discussion point being, is this really health?

    Saving dogs, a hashtag for mums about how amazing their child is, helping hungry people or recruiting medical staff for the armed forces – for me seems broader than health or not even health at all.

    We did discuss the fact that it lifted the game in terms of thinking and execution, but it was acting as a guide stick of where we need to be rather than being a true health entry.

    But do these types of entries make the interactive visual aid that has been under the red pen of medical advisors feel boring? Does it make the print ad idea that has made it through the treacherous journey of a pharmaceutical marketing department and research group feel flat? Does it make the medical education program that the regulatory body has scrutinised to the inch of its life look dull?

    The answer is yes.

    There is no place for pharmaceutical work in a current healthcare awards show. If it isn’t bringing you on the brink of tears or changing the world as we know it, it won’t get a real look in. It will be blindsided.

    So should we have a healthcare awards show? Why not simply have a health category in the mainstream shows?

    Think we know the answer to that one.

    The bigger question is (and the part of the reason why award shows were there in the first place), how are we going to lift pharmaceutical communications to a better standard. How are we going to inspire true healthcare agencies that live and breathe health everyday?

    I believe they deserve to be judged in a very different way.

    The idea and great execution, without a doubt should be there. But pharmaceutical communications goes deeper than that. It’s the strategy that creatively and intelligently weaves its way though the minefield of regulations and treatment indications. The medical writing that’s taken highly scientific information and made it code compliant yet highly persuasive to a cynical physician.

    So with all this in mind, I believe we do need an awards show for healthcare, but it has to be very different to the shows we currently have. They are mostly celebrating work that’s for the good of man (or animal) kind and I believe you could tack anything to that and call it health.

    Pharma is a weird and wonderful world and very specialised one, so when it comes to judging creativity, should it not be seen through a slightly different lens?


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  • DNA and Data

    DNA stores endless amounts of biological data on its double helix. This has led scientists to hypothesise that other types of data could possibly be stored on DNA, replacing hard drives and servers.

    A research team in Zurich have developed a proof-of-concept on how data could be stored using DNA. Although this is still a long way from commercial development, the DNA code of A, T, C and G may be able to take the place of 0s and 1s used to conventionally store data. 

    Find out more here


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  • Fight Antibiotic Resistance

    ​Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria adapt to evade antibiotics that are used to kill them or slow down their growth. 

    This resistance is linked to how often they are used.  In most countries antibiotics can be purchased without a doctors prescription! Antimicrobial resistance WILL affect everyone, regardless of where they live, their current lifestyle or economic position.

    By raising awareness through education and training we can help slow the development of resistant microbes. You can help fight emerging antimicrobial resistance. 

    Join the fight!

    Find out more here


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  • Immunotherapy: Has the Answer to Cancer Been Inside Us All Along?

    ​This year over 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and nearly 600,000 people will die from the disease. That’s over 1600 people each day. The need for innovative therapeutic approaches to treat cancer has never been higher. To help fight the tumor, oncologists are literally looking within at new immunotherapeutic approaches aimed at unleashing the body’s own natural defenses.

    The idea of immunotherapy isn’t a new one. Since the first studies of antibodies began in 1891, researchers have continued to investigate the potential of the immune system. But the idea held little more than promise.

    But all that has changed.

    Numerous breakthrough advancements in immunotherapy, with unprecedented results, have propelled the entire class forward. At this year’s Annual Meeting of the American Society of Oncology (ASCO), immunotherapy took front and center. Thousands upon thousands of oncologists crammed the educational sessions for just a glimpse of some of the new data being presented, CNN ran headline news stories from the congress, and even patients are aware and asking their physicians about the new therapies being researched.

    Across the board, the pharmaceutical industry has started to mobilize behind the potential of immunotherapy unlike anything else seen before. Most of the major pharmaceutical companies already have one or more new drug candidates in development—and if they don’t, they are aggressively exploring opportunities to catch up.

    Over 800 Clinical Trials With Immunotherapy Products
At present there are 844 ongoing or completed clinical trials with immunotherapy drugs across a wide range of tumor types. These trials include some of the most challenging cancers associated with the worst prognoses, like lung, stomach, brain, and melanoma. And new trials with new products and new regimens are added almost daily.

    $35 Billion in Projected Sales
Analysts believe that annual sales for immunotherapy products in oncology will reach $35 billion a year.

60% of Cancers Will be Treated With Immunotherapy
Researchers believe that immunotherapy may become the dominant form of treatment in oncology, with nearly two out of every three cancer patients receiving some form of immuno-based therapy within the next decade.

    While these numbers are staggering, the greatest benefit may be for the patients diagnosed with cancer. The early results from the emerging next-generation immunotherapy agents have rightfully captured the hopes of both patients and oncologists. With continued research and a little luck, these treatments may provide more than a treatment for a cancer, they may offer a cure.

    View original post here


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  • Why are we all forced to wear global creative?

    ​Ok so we have infiltrated most of the world with Neighbours, XXXX beer and Aussie backpackers armed with Vegemite, but does that mean we deserve to wear global creative?

    Every year we have to put up with images of a happy patients, a swoosh or metaphoric symbol demonstrating the benefits, a brand guidelines book of ‘do’s and don’ts’ and a template to follow that sets more restrictions than a Russian trade embargo.

    To a global marketing team this makes perfect sense, to the CFO it makes the spread sheet look good, but to the poor bastards who have to deal with it at a local level, its like wearing a jumper your Nanna knitted you for one of those daggy family photos - its preposterous.

    So here goes; ‘there’s no such thing as global creative’- one size does not fit all cultures. What they are creating is global awkwardness as it stifles creativity and more importantly doesn’t give the brand flexibility to adjust to the nuances of the country and audience.

    However, there is such a thing as a ‘global ideaL’. All great brands that we interact with today have one. It’s the bedrock from which brands can thrive. I believe pharmaceutical marketing departments and companies need to look outside their world and see how a soft drink or a sports brand connects with its audience. A global ideaL is perfect for health. Every drug, device or ointment is there to make the world a better place for humans and animals.

    A global ideaL will bring flavour and texture to a very dry area. For instance, the board game Scrabble has the ideaL of; the world would be a better place if we rediscovered the magic of words and Fanta’s was around having more fun. (Something we may need to do?)

    This is all very well but what can we actually do?

    Well I believe the creative community need to encourage marketers, strategists and account service teams in healthcare to look closely at their distant cousins and see the benefit of creating global ideaLs over global executions. We need to show how they connect with their audience on multiple channels and levels.

    If we have a great ideaL at the core of a global brand we can add local insights and flavour. It will allow briefs to breathe, creative to explore and the brand to have a purpose.

    More importantly it will guide creative teams down new roads, roads where the ‘key visual’ isn’t the centrepiece for healthcare advertising, it’s the ‘key thought’, a big ideaL – something that every creative team around the world would be happy to wear.


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  • Ogilvy CommonHealth eyes Asia’s ‘enormous’ opportunity

    ​On a recent trip to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Sydney, where he visited our offices in those cities and met with our leadership teams there, Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide President & CEO, Matt Giegerich, took some time out of his schedule to speak to Campaign Asia Pacific and talk about OCHWW and the growing importance of the region to our organisation.

    More here



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  • Biological evidence links brain inflammation and major depression

    ​A recent study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that the measure of brain inflammation in people who were experiencing clinical depression was increased by 30 per cent. The findings, published today in JAMA Psychiatry have important implications for developing new treatments for depression.

    More here


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  • Beer compound could help fight off Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases

    ​They’re now reporting in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that a compound from hops could protect brain cells from damage and potentially slow the development of disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

    More here



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  • Temporary paper tattoo measures blood glucose

    ​Future diabetes patients won’t have to stick themselves with a needle; they’ll just need to get a tattoo. Researchers have developed a temporary paper-based tattoo that applies a mild electrical shock to the skin to measure blood glucose levels. In a study of seven individuals—four males and three females—who wore the tattoo while eating a carbohydrate-rich meal in the lab, the device (pictured) was just as effective at measuring glucose levels as the traditional method, the finger stick monitor. None of the volunteers reported any discomfort during the tests, the team reports in the current issue ofAnalytical Chemistry, although some of them did point out a tingling feeling when the tattoo was taking its measurements. The device does not currently provide a numerical reading that diabetes patients would need to monitor their condition, but this is in the cards. Other possible applications include sending the information to the patient’s doctor in real time using Bluetooth. Now, the tattoo works for a whole day; the researchers are working on making the tattoo last longer while keeping it at its current cost of a few cents.

    More here



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  • FDA approves first-of-kind device to treat obesity

    ​The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the Maestro Rechargeable System for certain obese adults, the first weight loss treatment device that targets the nerve pathway between the brain and the stomach that controls feelings of hunger and fullness.  

    The Maestro Rechargeable System, the first FDA-approved obesity device since 2007, is approved to treat patients aged 18 and older who have not been able to lose weight with a weight loss program, and who have a body mass index of 35 to 45 with at least one other obesity-related condition, such as type 2 diabetes.

    BMI, which measures body fat based on an individual’s weight and height, is used to define the obesity categories. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of all U.S. adults are obese, and people with obesity are at increased risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain kinds of cancer.

    More here


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  • Expensive medicines and where it’s all going?

    ​The Australian Commonwealth spending on PBS drugs is currently around $9 billion AUD per annum.  It is forecast to be over $15 billion by 2023. We are seeing this upward trend due to the increasing incidence of chronic illnesses and conditions, the ageing population of Australia and the cost of new PBS medications. 

    We know the hurdle to getting drugs listed on the PBS is higher than ever.  But when they get listed why are these medications so expensive for governments and should we listen to those criticising the Pharmaceutical Companies who discover, commercialise and manufacturer these medications?

    Bruce Booth wrote an interesting article this week on where he looked at two very different calculations around the total cost of drug development.  All things equal, and dipping into a Tufts Centre for the Study for Drug Development, it looks like the cost is now upwards on $2 billion USD per drug.  That’s huge by anyones standards.  But consider the journey to approval. 

    • It takes an average of 10 years to bring a discovery to the approval stage. 
    • Only 8% of drug candidates make it from discovery to the market – and that’s regulatory approval not reimbursement.  Reimbursement is a further stumbling block.
    • The cost of failures is the largest part of the overall cost in this analysis.  

    70% of the calculated cost of developing a new drug is that cost associated with the failures along the way. In a good article, Booth suggests we need to do things better, faster and cheaper.  

    I tend to agree. New technologies and the digital world we live in should mean we can share new information, new clinical data and new treatments more rapidly. Most products in the drug-pipeline are now complex, highly technical and often target new pathways and therefor HCPs will need to have a more in-depth understanding of the mechanism of action and science behind these innovative compounds and classes of drugs.

    The other question is how can the ‘Big Data’ we keep reading about help us develop the right products for the right patients in a healthcare landscape that is constantly changing and evolving?  A load of patient, HCP and product data itself won’t help us.  We need to be able to analyse and sift through it to find meaningful truths and insights that change the way we develop and commercialise new medicines.  This will make a difference.


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  • Ogilvy CommonHealth Launches Middle East Operation

    Today sees the formal launch of Ogilvy CommonHealth Middle East & North Africa (OCH MENA), part of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide (OCHWW), the health behavior experts of Ogilvy.

    The official launch of the Dubai office was celebrated with an exclusive event for key stakeholders and senior clients at The Oberoi, Dubai. This is an important step in expanding the business model in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region. The Dubai operation will be led by Karen Kamel, Business Director, Ogilvy CommonHealth. She will directly report to Ronald Howes, Regional Managing Director, Memac Ogilvy.

    Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide is a globally recognized leader in the field of healthcare communications. The network offers a full range of services to the industry, including professional and consumer advertising, sales promotion, medical education, digital health solutions, pharmacy channel planning and public relations.

    The demand from the Middle East healthcare market continues to grow and the clients are constantly looking to engage with specialists that can offer 360 degree communications support. It is even more imperative that the Middle East healthcare practitioners take the growing demands of the clients seriously and respond creatively. With the ability to provide innovation and new thinking to existing and potential clients, it is a vital and a natural step to launch the new practice in the region.

    The Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide offer brings together experts from health promotion, medical education, brand planning and creativity that are driven by deep insights into cultural and market trends. Armed with Ogilvy’s global network and healthcare infrastructure understanding, scientific knowledge, technology and behavior change expertise, the practice is committed to providing creative and effective solutions for healthcare clients across the MENA region.

    Gloria Gibbons, President, EAME Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, said:

    Edmond Moutran, Chairman & CEO Memac Ogilvy Group, commented:

    The Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide network currently has more than 1200 specialists in health and pharmaceutical communications. The newly launched Dubai practice will be supported by the resources of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide network.


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  • Worse than Heartbleed.. Introducing Bash bug

    ​Linux users got a nasty surprise today, as a security team at Red Hat uncovered a subtle but dangerous bug in the Bash shell, one of the most versatile and widely used utilities in Linux. It’s being called the Bash bug.

    Read more


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  • Access to High-Cost Medications: A Balancing Act

    Our Ogilvy CommonHealth UK Market Access team have brought together an expert panel to discuss and debate the current challenges of innovative, high cost medications in a reimbursed market. It is a great read and very relevant to the Australian Healthcare sector.

    Read the article here


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  • Healthcare: 10 trends you need to know

    ​Healthcare is evolving fast in the age of digital, here are 10 of the most exciting trends patients, healthcare professionals and marketers need to be aware of. 

    View article here


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  • PSD vs HTML

    ​The way we develop digital projects for healthcare is evolving in a battle between PSD and HTML. In the future, web development may have little to no dependency on Photoshop assets and layouts!

    Read more here:


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  • Ogilvy CommonHealth: Top 100 agency list

    ​Want to know more about Ogilvy CommonHealth worldwide? Have a read of why we’re one of the Top 100 agencies in the world to work for and with here: 

    View Here


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  • Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide adds new leadership

    PARSIPPANY, N.J. —Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide ( ,the health behavior experts of Ogilvy & Mather (, today announced the addition of Matt de Gruchy, CEO of Ogilvy Healthworld inthe UK, and Katie Piette, director of global brand management, to the Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide Global Executive Committee.

    Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide is a WPP company (NASDAQ: WPPGY, The organization houses and maintains individual Ogilvy CommonHealth and Ogilvy Healthworld brand identities within the marketplace. Mr. de Gruchy’s and Ms. Piette’s appointments round out the organization’s global executive committee, which is already composed of OCHWW Chairman and CEO Matt Giegerich; OCHWW President EAME Gloria Gibbons; OCHWW managing partners Darlene Dobry, Michael Parisi, Marc Weiner, and Shaun Urban; OCHWW Chief Financial Officer Robert Saporito; OCHWW Chief Talent Officer Susan DiDonato; and Regional Managing Director, APAC, Rohit Sahgal, as an associate member.

    Since joining the organization in 2001, Mr. de Gruchy has helped to guide and grow Ogilvy Healthworld in the UK to become the second largest hub within the OCHWW network. During his tenure in the UK office, Mr. de Gruchy has led a team that has produced an enviable collection of award-winning regional and global work, while setting standards to ensure the office consistently maintains a high level of creativity and innovation. With this new appointment, Mr. de Gruchy will lend his perspective and significant experience to the global executive committee and to the broader whole of the organization.

    During the past year, Ms. Piette assumed responsibility for overseeing global brand management across all of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide’s disciplines. Since her appointment to the global brand management role, there has been a wealth of new business activity within the network for a variety of global brands. With her broad expertise in developing and maintaining international business relationships, Ms. Piette is expected to add an important new perspective to the executive committee as the organization continues to grow and service more global-facing brand opportunities.

    OCHWW Chairman and CEO Matt Giegerich said, “We are fortunate indeed to have both Katie and Matt in our leadership ranks, and their appointment to the global board will help us enormously as we continue to evolve and grow our Ogilvy CommonHealth global community.”

    About Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide 

    Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide ( — the health behavior experts of Ogilvy & Mather ( — committed to creativity and effectiveness in healthcare communications, everywhere. With 56 offices across 32 markets, Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide provides marketing services including brand identity and development, clinical trial recruitment, digital/interactive services, direct-to-consumer, direct-to-patient, global integration, managed care marketing, market research and analytics, media planning and buying, medical advertising and promotion, medical education, public affairs and relations, relationship marketing, and strategic consulting. The network also offers scientific communications and publications services through a wholly owned separate legal entity.


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  • The world of mobile development

    ​The world of digital and mobile development can be hard to keep up with. This short review gives an overview of what healthcare developers should be keeping front of mind when producing materials such as Apps and e-detailers for mobile devices.


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  • Australia punching above it’s weight for published publications

    The top 40 countries by number of research papers published this year has shown Australian research to be alive and well. With a population 14x smaller than the US, the number of publications per year stands up well with its larger advisory with 38,500 publications.View Article here


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  • We meowed at the Lions Health in Cannes

    ​Can you believe it was almost two months ago since the very first Lions Health at Cannes!

    I am actually kicking myself for not writing this sooner but you know how it goes.

    Overall I thought the standard of work was high, and that’s what you would expect for this type of event. I wouldn’t say that there was a new standard set, but there were definitely new players – non-healthcare agencies who haven’t been bound by medical departments or the weight of the past.

    Cannes Lions Health is putting healthcare advertising and communications on the world stage and I think this is great, but the playing field has just gotten bigger. So us healthcare folk need to stretch ourselves even more and deliver ideas that aren’t a print ad, e-detail aid or a direct mail series. We need to look
    outside of this and step away from the pharmaceutical/health look, feel, taste and tradition.

    I am proud to say Ogilvy CommonHealth Australia did just that with a Cat Ramps, a little ambient idea that set out to raise awareness of cat osteoarthritis.

    Instead of doing posters or an ad, we created a series of specially made ramps with website activation that were placed in Hyde Park Sydney on one day. Park visitors and city workers could interact with the ramps, activate the mobile website, learn about the disease, the signs to watch out for and potentially seek a management plan from their local vet.

    The traffic to the website exceeded objectives three-fold. Just under their monthly hits was achieved in one day.

    Even though we only made it to finalist, it was a big achievement given the 1,400 entries from 49 countries.

    But the biggest achievement was getting this idea signed off and up and running.

    So this little meow will hopefully turn into a big roar for Ogilvy CommonHealth Australia as we start our journey towards the next Lions Health in 2015.

    Tobë Pickford - Creative Director Ogilvy CommonHealth



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  • Ricky Gervais: The secret of creativity

    ​An insight into the secret of great creativity from award winning comedian and actor Ricky Gervais – more play and less work! 

    Read here



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  • Avoiding the pitfalls of a new product launch

    With the launch of any pharmaceutical brand, success or failure can be defined within the first few years of launch. The following article overviews some of the most common mistakes sales and marketing managers make before and during launch… Read here


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  • 7 Medical advances to watch in 2014

    Plenty of advances in medical research and treatment were made last year that could start to have a big impact in 2014. These breakthroughs range from making body parts on a 3D printer to getting the body to fight cancer on its own. 

    Here are seven to watch in 2014.


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  • The consult just got creative with silver surfers

    We hear it all the time; the elderly don’t go online. But with emerging and already existing technologies that help with better health outcomes, there’s even more reason for Aussie oldies to be there.

    This opens up great creative opportunities for pharmaceutical manufacturers and health business alike. It would be great for the brands that come off patent to offer value with exercises for the lungs or gamification for stroke rehabilitation. The digital world is our oyster. 

    More here.


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  • Apple executives meet with FDA to discuss mobile medical applications

    A group of senior Apple executives met with directors at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December to discuss mobile medical applications, which could signal the finalisation of the widely anticipated Smartwatch.

    View original article.


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  • Probiotics not working? Try this…

    Spanish researchers are boasting of the health benefits of sausages made from baby poo. The Girona-based research team claim the unconventional ingredient is an abundant source of gut-boosting probiotics Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium that can aid in gut health.

    View original article.


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  • Belfast medics develop X-ray app

    A group of medical consultants in Belfast have teamed up with IT specialists to develop a mobile app that can identify where a doctor is going wrong when interpreting X-rays. According to those behind the training tool, it is the first of its kind in the world.

    View original article.


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  • Donation for the nation

    People around the world are increasingly choosing to do their bit in saving the lives of strangers once their own time has come to an end. In Chile, everyone is automatically registered as an organ donor but up to 50% of organs never get a new lease on life due to families having the final say and ultimately deciding against donation.

    Introducing The Last Call – the phone call that can literally save a life. This digital initiative is on track to make a real difference and is already helping fulfil the final wishes of thousands all over the country. By pre-recording a phone call and giving details of a loved one to receive it, people can be assured that their final request is respected should they pass away. The emotive campaign featuring celebrities recording their last calls spread quickly across social media resulting in over 5,000 calls recorded in just one week – what a creative idea that’s set to save lives for years to come!

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  • DIGI KNOW… 90% of consumers like custom content from brands

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  • Woe-not with Woebot

    According to US government data, in 2015 only 41% of US adults with a mental health condition received treatment. Introducing mental health chatbots, now here to help. These artificial intelligence bots focus on helping people understand their emotions and teaching them how to deal with stressful situations. They’re not here to replace traditional therapy, but can make simple therapy available to a wide range of people who would otherwise be unable to see a therapist.

    The newest addition to the family of chatbots, focusing on mental health, is Woebot. This bot is available through a monthly subscription and hopes to stand out from the crowd. According to research conducted by Alison Darcy, a clinical psychologist at Stanford University and CEO of Woebot, the bot can reduce symptoms of depression in two weeks and will coach users to be a “life ninja” through a series of online “conversations”. And if the chatbot can’t help, it will refer users to other places where they can get more formal treatment.

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  • Breaking down language barriers

    There are 20.5 million people with hearing impairments in China, however less than 5% of the population understand sign language. To minimise this gap, China’s Association of the Deaf has launched an app harnessing the emoji, to bring about a social change bigger than just sending a ‘Smiling Poop’ to your other half.

    The app was developed alongside sign language specialists who created a series of Sign emojis designed so that people with and without hearing impairments can interact and learn the language. The app works by replacing a word that a user is typing with the corresponding animated sign emoji. The app was distributed through social media platforms and made available for free download, yielding an outstanding 100,000 downloads within the first month post-launch.

    We’re excited to say that the coupling of sign with emoji has been progressively successful in helping China learn a new language.

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  • Have your tooth fairy on speed dial

    Smartphones have revolutionised our lives and become so ingrained in our daily routines that we often feel lost without them. Living in a digital bubble makes it easy to take the benefits for granted, such as instant access to an infinite amount of information and services that millions around the world simply do not have.

    In rural India, there is a severe shortage of reliable dental services with some areas having only one qualified dentist per 50,000 people. Combine this with an absence of smartphones or data access and it results in a serious lack of necessary health information.

    Colgate and the Indian Dental Association set about tackling this issue with a creative campaign that’s utilizing the limited digital access available to the target population. Pocket Dentist is available on basic mobile phones and uses a voice recognition system to answer common dental questions in real time, with less common questions being transferred to qualified dentists. Mobile voice ads, hand-painted murals and word-of-mouth have all helped to spread the word about this back-to-the-basics digital initiative that’s saving smiles across the country.

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  • DIGI KNOW… Email marketing was the top channel for increase in digital marketing spend over the last year, with 61% of marketers increasing their investment

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  • The write kind of soap

    How do you introduce a new healthy habit to school children? And one as important as washing your hands with soap, not just water? In India over a thousand children die every day because of poor hand hygiene, and as most children eat with their hands, improving their cleanliness is essential. So, Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai worked with their client, Savlon, to provide a simple answer; and instead of introducing a new behaviour, they adapted a current one. Most children in rural schools still use chalk sticks and slate to write in school, and Savlon thought, what if we infuse the chalk with soap? Introducing the Savlon Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks, that coat hands in soap powder as well as chalk residue, so that when the child runs them under the tap the powder turns into soap, all by itself. Making it easy for the children to stay clean, easily.

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  • Immunisation bracelet works a charm

    It’s amazing that some of the simplest ideas are often the best. If you’re a paediatrician working in Afghanistan, which has the world’s worst infant mortality rate, it’s unlikely you’ll have the luxury of being able to check a child’s immunisation history. Some records are lost and many families have cultural beliefs against immunisation. As a result, only half of all children complete their vaccinations.

    The Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan has taken health behaviour interventions to another level with this genius idea. Afghan children wear bracelets to protect from evil forces, so parents have been asked to give their children new bracelets with colourful, collectable charms that represent each new vaccination. Dr Nagina, who works in a village hospital, said “Neighbours and relatives can see the beads on a child’s bracelet. Everyone is comparing and asking about the Immunity Charm.”

    It’s incredible to see how powerful social norms and incentives can be when applied with cultural sensitivity in this way. Find out more about this wonderful idea by watching the short video clip.

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  • Leave it to the experts

    Where do you turn in times of need? It seems our trusty old pal Google is the number one choice for most, despite knowing the advice probably isn’t the most well-informed. While it provides a quick answer, when faced with real issues – like discovering your unborn baby has Down syndrome and being given 10 days to decide whether to proceed with the pregnancy – it doesn’t really cut it.

    The Canadian Down Syndrome Society have offered a helping hand to encourage people to leave Dr. Google behind and get some real answers from the true experts. The result is Down Syndrome Answers – a series of videos showing people with Down syndrome answering the 40 most-searched questions on Google. Tackling myths in a direct but personable way, the videos provide the much needed dose of reality that’s missing from your typical online Q&A session and some much appreciated support for parents in need.

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  • DIGI KNOW… 96% of the people that discuss brands online do not follow those brands’ own profiles.

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  • Smoking cessation meets VR

    Smoking is one of the hardest habits to break - whether you’re going cold turkey or chewing nicotine gum - thousands of people just can’t seem to break this habit. This is why we are really excited by MindCotine, a startup which combines VR, mindfulness and mediation to help people quit for good!

    Upon signing up to the program, users receive a cardboard headset and are asked to download the app. Users are then taken through a brief questionnaire that will help tailor the app to their needs. They then go through a series of daily activities, which are based on elements from mindfulness, biofeedback and other psychological techniques. One exercise includes immersion, where users are put in the situation of smoking a virtual cigarette and given the opportunity to take a mental step away from their habit and make a conscious decision to not light up. These simulation techniques have been researched over the past 20 years independently, and have proven helpful to treat different disorders and conditions. The app also doubles as a platform where users can support each other on their way to stopping their addiction.

    MindCotine is raising funds on Kickstarter with a goal to make this therapy more readily available to a wider public and we’re very much looking forward to seeing the results.

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  • Sleeping safe AND sound

    #DigiKnow that 100% of people with hearing aids remove them while they sleep to avoid discomfort? First thought, they would get some seriously good Z’s!! Second thought, this can be concerning as the majority of household dangers occur while people are asleep. Think burst pipe, fire alarm, burglaries. In fact, according to the Thai Health Foundation, over 70% of dangers happen overnight. As a result they decided to partner with the Deaf Association of Bangkok and come up with a way to keep the deaf safe. The answer - Hearing Rescue. A hearing aid that doubles as a fitbit-like wrist band to wear while sleeping. The bracelet vibrates as it picks up potentially worrying sounds or sound patterns e.g a dog barking. At just $200 even the heavy sleepers are thinking of picking up one of these bad boys!

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  • We need to talk about addiction…

    Is addiction a disease or a choice? A simple question but one many get wrong. In recent years, our understanding of mental disorders has grown but stereotypes and misconceptions remain widespread. Aware of this, alcohol and drug prevention organisation First Call decided to take action towards changing perceptions.

    Get your dose of shockvertising that works with the Stop the Shame ad series. Watching family members tell a son with cancer that “he’s weak” and that “it’s all his fault” is an uncomfortable watch but leaves viewers thinking about the mismatch in discourse between diseases like cancer and misunderstood disorders like addiction. This thought-provoking campaign is spreading the truth about addiction being a genetic disorder and has the potential to make a real difference to sufferers who are still struggling from the shame of their disorder.

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  • DIGI KNOW… Estimates suggest that by better integrating big data, healthcare could save as much as $300 billion a year — that’s equal to reducing costs by $1000 a year for every man, woman, and child.

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  • V is for VR Vaccines

    Vaccination can be an extremely stressful experience, especially for younger patients, which is why Ogilvy Brazil came up with VR Vaccine, an innovative way to make the encounter less frightening. During the experience, nurses transport children to a fairy tale land, where a fairy distracts them while the nurse delivers the vaccine.

    The children have to receive a new shield from the fairy in order to save the fairy tale kingdom. In order to activate the shield, the fairy character performs a series of actions, which the nurse follows on a separate screen and mirrors. For example, as the fairy rubs the ‘fire fruit’ on the child’s armour, the nurse delivers the vaccine injection. This way, the children didn’t get scared of the needle as they were fully immersed in the kingdom and felt like heroes for saving the fairy’s land.

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  • Breathe in, breathe out and lose weight

    Move over free perfume sachets, magazines can now offer you a free podiatry test instead! Now before you get carried away, we’ll caveat this with the disclaimer *Not responsible for proclaiming a magazine can diagnose the severity of your bunions*

    What the two page spread CAN do however, is identify your foot type and recommend a shoe (in this instance an Asics trainer) to best support you. This clever campaign used thermochromic paint which changes colour with body heat so readers can step on the magazine and compare their “gait” (fancy foot talk for the way you walk) with the key displayed on the side. They can then use this category to select the Asics running shoe that supports them best. If the paper wasn’t clever enough they’ve launched this just in time for our summer body exercise regime, surely a supportive shoe will help us drop 10kgs by June…

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  • You’ve gotta like it or lump it!

    Despite knowing that our health is the most important thing we have, most of us forget to take time out of our day to see our doctors for those vital check-ups. The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation decided to make use of a particularly annoying form of advertising to change this behaviour for the better…

    The foundation created a re-targeting ad – you know, the ones that follow you everywhere online – showing a small lump and reminding women over 40 to book themselves in for a mammogram. The lump digitally stalked the targeted groups, growing bigger and more aggressive each time they saw it until the women clicked on the ad and booked an appointment. This resulted in the most successful mammogram drive the foundation has ever seen and we’re massive fans of this won’t stop method that’s sure to have saved some lives.

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  • DIGI KNOW… over 75% of people that send a complaint to a company on a social networking site expect a response within 1 hour

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  • Med speak made easy

    Medical terminology can be hard to process at the best of times and it’s the last thing you want to focus on when you’re concerned about your health. With so many long words and almost incomprehensible spelling, it’s easy to get confused.

    Luckily for us, online medical service Zocdoc has a solution! Thanks to their patient-powered search engine, users can bypass the language barrier and get a quick and easy diagnosis based on their symptoms. Patients simply enter their health concerns into the search bar and the smart tool does the rest. With the ability to translate colloquialisms and even account for misspellings, patients with concerns about the “menopaws” or those who are stuck “kneeling before the porcelain throne” can get the no-fuss solution they need.

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  • Signing the way to pain relief

    Me Muevo Foundation has created a brilliant campaign that mixes business with pleasure. There are currently 90 thousand people in Chile suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disorder which inhibits mobility. The disease prevents people from performing their daily activities, including their important exercises that reduce inflammation and pain.

    There are also 500,000 hearing impaired people currently living in Chile, but only 0.1% of Chileans know how to communicate using sign language. To address the lack of inclusion of people with hearing impairments to society, and encourage patients with RA to perform their therapy exercises, Me Muevo Foundation developed a simple solution. The result was a set of therapy based exercises for RA patients using sign language.

    Spread the word: this initiative is a great example of bringing two groups together to improve health and inclusion.

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