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Ogilvy Healthworld

Report by Steve Girgenti

Chief executive officer

2007 was an extremely strong year for Ogilvy Healthworld across all regions and in the 35 countries where we have operations.

We offer a full array of marketing communications services, encompassing strategic planning, marketing strategy, medical education, professional and DTC advertising, public relations, clinical trial recruitment, medical education, healthcare professionals and consumer relationship marketing, digital communications, meeting planning, and market analytics.

Our US operations experienced a year of extraordinary growth. New business success was plentiful with engagements from new clients Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi-Aventis, Roche Diagnostics, and Smith & Nephew as well as additional assignments from existing clients Allergan, Johnson & Johnson and Wyeth.

Our US-based medical education business won new brand assignments from Eisai, Human Genome Sciences, Bayer, Takeda Cephalon, GlaxoSmithKline, Cell Genesys and developmental work for pipeline agents from Merck, Eisai and Novartis. The group has made great strides in developing global medical education capabilities by transferring expertise from regional centers of excellence to emerging markets. Our medical education network is now the most robust in the industry, well positioned to help clients drive global brand marketing through scientific and educational communications.

In Europe, our pan-regional and global business has grown dramatically due to increasing centralization of marketing in the pharmaceutical sector. With growing consumer desire for nutrition, health and wellness solutions, our European team has been building our consumer health services business working with consumer goods clients such as Nestlé. We are also expanding with other non-pharmaceutical clients, such as GE Healthcare, for whom we've commenced work on a global assignment from the UK.

We continue to build our regional base in Europe in response to client needs. In 2007, we opened our first office in Moscow, which has already secured significant assignments with two multinational clients. In Latin America, Mexico expanded its business base, winning several new clients including Teva, Nestlé Infant Nutrition, Novartis, BMS, Ipsen and Schering Plough. In Brazil we completed a long-planned integration of services, melding the best talent from other Ogilvy units with our Healthworld staff. The resulting service level will boost our offer to existing clients as well as those with broader and more sophisticated health marketing needs.

Within the Asia-Pacific region, Australia keeps growing with six new assignments in 2007. Our practice in Singapore won five new clients during the year including pan-regional assignments from Bayer Health and The Parkway Hospital Group.

We also made considerable progress in building our Asia-Pacific network, led by the acquisition of Pharmax, a major healthcare communication company in South Korea, which is one of the fastest-growing markets for our multinational clients. In Australia, we formed Fibre Ogilvy, a group specializing in providing healthcare CRM and other interactive solutions.

Digital technologies have dramatically changed our industry, and their impact is no less strongly felt in healthcare communications. Around the globe, clients are asking for digital solutions. We have seen demand for digital campaigns grow, whether it's to engage consumers and patients or for client internal communication programs. Our healthcare digital specialists have joined forces with OgilvyInteractive to offer unbeatable capabilities. We are currently working on digital projects for Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Strengthening our creative talent remains a top priority. Ogilvy Healthworld was widely recognized in the international awards competitions in the past year. We won two Rx Cub Gold awards for Janssen's Invega in the UK and GSK's Augmentin in South Africa. An additional 13 Awards of Excellence were won by entries from India, South Africa and the US. In the Global Awards competition, Ogilvy Healthworld won two Globals and had 10 finalists.

Our success in 2007 provides a solid platform for further growth. Our mission is to continue to service our current clients with increasingly higher levels of strategic guidance, creative excellence and account service. Our ability to retain and broaden our assignment base with our multinational clients is a core strength of the organization.

In 2008 and beyond, Ogilvy Healthworld will continue to expand through organic growth and with acquisitions in key markets. We anticipate the need to further diversify. Our focus will be on medical education and digital as springboards to future growth in healthcare communications.

As recently announced, I will be stepping aside after 22 years as CEO of Ogilvy Healthworld, but will continue to serve as chairman through the end of the year.