Precisioneffect boosts digital chops, global reach with U.K. agency buy

Precisioneffect is bolstering its global presence and digital and video capabilities with the purchase of U.K. agency Big Pink. (Alpha Stock Images)(Source: Alpha Stock Images)

Big Pink is going orange. That’s the brand color of its new parent U.S. pharma and healthcare agency, Precisioneffect. The deal between the two gives Boston-based Precisioneffect a broader global footprint with a permanent European office, as well as Big Pink’s digital and video capabilities.

Clients of Britain-based Big Pink include GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Astellas, while Precisioneffect’s roster includes Amgen, Shire and Takeda. With the acquisition, Precisioneffect will employ 175 people.

“They are primarily a multichannel marketing shop and will add a lot of breadth and depth not only to our digital capabilities and multichannel marketing, but they’re also very strong in video capabilities, so it will enable us to be a little more nimble and turn things around for our clients more quickly,” said Carolyn Morgan, president of Precisioneffect, adding that demand is rising with “more and more clients … looking to tell stories in video.”

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The acquisition comes as more continue to move marketing dollars to digital, shifting from traditional sources such as trade shows or healthcare professional journals, Morgan said. While other traditional media, such as TV and print, will continue to be important—and work well for bigger mainstream branded drugs aiming for reach—digital can work well and at a lower cost for smaller specialty drugs and for specific targeting of groups of healthcare providers and consumers. Being able to measure results with more detail is also appealing, she said.

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“The clients with brands that are appropriate for TV are still doing a ton of TV. For larger audience distribution that makes a lot of sense—you can’t beat that reach that quickly,” Morgan said. “… Brand managers are now more apt to want to do things where they can see the results, measure the results and respond appropriately. For the longest time we couldn’t do that, and I think that’s why we’re seeing a little bit of a shift to things that our clients can follow the bouncing ball on. It’s more advantageous for them and their spend.”

In an internal promotion around the acquisition, two lucky Precisioneffect staffers won a random drawing for a week in the U.K. to spend time with new associates at Big Pink, learning about their business, strategies and expertise.