McCann Health taps veteran to lead HCP ad agency McCann Echo

Male doctor in white lab coat
McCann Echo's new president wants to strengthen its scientific strategy, he said.

Healthcare professional ad agency McCann Echo has named Jesse Johanson its president in a move that looks to the veteran to continue growing the agency. 

Johanson, who previously served as executive VP and director of strategic planning, pointed out McCann Echo's already solid trajectory, predicting a third straight year of double-digit growth. But there's still room to improve, he said.

"This is not an opportunity to make wholesale changes, it’s a very healthy agency as it stands today. But we have a lot of opportunity for growth going forward. I really want to capitalize on strengthening our scientific strategy, adding to market analytic as well as science behavioral economics—those are areas we see as real opportunities for growth," he said.

McCann Echo is a professionally focused healthcare agency with clients that include AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson's Janssen, Novo Nordisk and GlaxoSmithKline HIV unit ViiV Healthcare. It's part of the McCann Health network in its professional group. McCann Echo's previous president, Sonja Foster-Storch, moved to become president of GSW North America at the end of August.

For his part, Johanson—who start as a lab researcher—says he was always drawn to scientific communications and taking complex scientific concepts and making them more relatable and understandable. It’s no surprise, then, that he landed in healthcare communications. He began his healthcare agency career at Hamilton Communications in Chicago before moving to McCann Echo Torre Lazur in 2005.

"McCann Echo has a long history of high-science brands—diabetes, HIV, immunology—so we’re steeped in high science, and we see areas like oncology and neurology as real growth opportunities. Those therapy categories and the agents being used to manage those diseases are only getting more complicated. Making sure we are starting from a strong clinical foundation is going to be critical going forward. Integrating scientists with our creatives, I think, is what makes this area so much fun,” he said.