Merger Creates Largest Independent Healthcare Cross-Cultural Marketing Firm
Two tenured cross-cultural marketing leaders are joining forces to create the largest independently-owned healthcare marketing agency that focuses on reaching US Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American, LGBT, and other diverse US populations. Global Advertising Strategies, led by Givi Topchishvili, has announced the acquisition of Prime Access, led by multicultural advertising veteran Howard Buford. The newly-formed agency will fuse together healthcare marketing capabilities of both shops and will operate as Prime Access, becoming the only cross-cultural agency able to provide counsel across 18 cultures and in 35 languages.
“The cross-cultural marketplace represents over 100 million US consumers that are currently under-reached by traditional communications resulting in promotional inefficiencies and healthcare disparities,” said Topchishvili, President and CEO of Global Advertising Strategies. “As the healthcare industry shifts from a mass market to a more targeted, customer tailored promotional model, engaging with cross-cultural audiences is critical for the success of the healthcare industry and the overall health of the nation. Such unparalleled depth of perspective enables us to craft comprehensive, balanced cross-cultural strategies and programs that truly reflect marketplace realities.”
Recipients of 16 industry awards in the last three years alone, Global and Prime Access have developed best-in-class marketing initiatives for over 30 pharmaceutical products across leading therapeutic categories and some of the world’s largest global brands. The combined teams have also worked with retail drug chains, consumer healthcare programs, hospital chains, and health plans.
“No other agency has a comparable breadth of experience and professional network, particularly in the cross-cultural healthcare arena,” said Howard Buford, Founder of Prime Access who will continue his leadership role on the Board of Directors at the newly-formed agency. “The company’s professionals make valuable strategic partners for clients, based on their insights of the healthcare industry dynamics and clinical and behavioral cultural nuances across diverse audiences.”
The two agencies bring an unprecedented value to the changing healthcare market. Their multi-faceted offering includes cross-cultural capability building across healthcare stakeholders including consumers and healthcare professionals (HCPs). In addition to an award-winning media planning and buying department that boasts proprietary digital, mobile, and traditional media tools, other core competencies also include patient education, community outreach and advocacy, experiential marketing, DTC awareness and acquisition, Rx to OTC conversion programs, CRM analysis, and HCP cultural competency. Clients of Global Advertising Strategies outside the healthcare arena will also benefit from the expanded strategic planning and media planning/buying resources of the new firm.
“The need for cultural competency in delivering healthcare messages is critical. Bringing together these two leaders in healthcare marketing and cross-cultural outreach answers an expanding industry need, now and into the future,” said Charlotte McKines, Vice President of Global Marketing Communications & Channel Strategy for Merck & Co., Inc.
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