McCann Health taps consumer agency veteran to fill chief creative officer slot

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McCann Health's new chief creative officer Matt Eastwood joins the healthcare agency after a long career at consumer agencies. (Alpha Stock Images)

McCann Health has a new creative boss from the consumer agency world. Matt Eastwood, who was most recently the worldwide chief creative officer at J. Walter Thompson, has taken over as McCann's chief creative officer.

 

Eastwood steps into the position that’s been empty since July, when Jeremy Perrott was fired for a “code of conduct” violation. Perrott has since filed a lawsuit against McCann Worldgroup seeking $25 million in damages. McCann told Adweek it stands by its actions in the case.

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RELATED: McCann Health taps Sam Taylor as head of its GSK pharma and consumer business

Eastwood’s previous experience includes time at a wide range of agencies around the world. Before JWT, he served as chief creative officer for DDB in New York and also in Australia, and before that he led creative at Y&R New York, as well as M&C Saatchi both in Melbourne and London.

“Our health, wellness, and pharma clients across the board are increasingly looking at a changing landscape in which Matt’s broad background and sterling creative reputation will be of great relevance and value," John Cahill, Global CEO of McCann Health, said in a statement. 

The move from traditional consumer agency to health is becoming more common as healthcare agencies recruit more from consumer operations and as creatives look for different challenges and work that makes a difference. The agency creative trend is happening as consumers take more control of their healthcare decisions and responsibilities and as pharma companies look to speak more directly to them.

RELATED: McCann Health puts drug resistance, mental health on its brain trust's priority list

The trend is happening inside pharma companies as well: Just look at the recent spate of chief digital officer hires. Merck picked up its digital lead Jim Scholefield from Nike, while GSK went for two, tapping former Walmart executive Karenann Terrell as chief digital and technology officer and former Google and L'Oreal exec Marc Speichert as chief digital officer of its consumer unit. Novartis’ newly named chief digital officer Bertrand Bodson came from U.K. online retailer Sainsbury's Argos, and before that held roles at EMI Music and Amazon.

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