Draftfcb Acquires Hudson Global; Aligns It With Draftfcb Healthcare

by Chris Saunders , FTI Consulting

Acquisition Bolsters Strategic, Analytic & Technological Smarts

NEW YORK CITY, September 12, 2012—Draftfcb, the global marketing communications agency network that is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), is acquiring Hudson Global, a Tarrytown, N.Y.-based pharmaceutical marketing company that offers integrated marketing solutions encompassing the entire pharmaceutical brand management spectrum, and aligning it under its Draftfcb Healthcare umbrella.

The union with Draftfcb Healthcare will allow both to deliver even higher impact, targeted, fully integrated programming and analytics to their combined roster of blue-chip clients. The merger will create a top 5 healthcare offering in the U.S.

“Our acquisition of Hudson is part of a long-term plan to make strategic acquisitions that will bolster our clients’ businesses and strengthen our agency’s offerings in those markets that offer the greatest opportunity,” said Laurence Boschetto, global CEO and president of Draftfcb.

Hudson Global, with 55+ employees, includes among its core services: digital media and interactive marketing programs, peer-to-peer programming, consumer programming, medical strategy, and data and analytics services. It also has an important educational component that is aimed at professional healthcare, patient, and consumer audiences.

Since its founding in 2004, Hudson has provided solutions to sales and marketing teams at more than 30 pharma companies and represented more than 60 different pharmaceutical brands, which generate over $46 billion in annual sales.

Hudson currently works with three types of clients: pharma, diagnostic and biotech. It provides services to 20 major companies, including 15 of the largest pharma companies in the world. The company also works with mid-tier pharma companies and medical device companies. Hudson operates in a variety of therapeutic areas including oncology, cardiovascular, CNS, dermatology, diabetes, gastroenterology, infectious diseases, pediatrics, respiratory, rheumatology, women’s health, and biologics.

Hudson will retain its name, and maintain its Tarrytown location, with several of its employees regularly working out of Draftfcb Healthcare offices in midtown Manhattan. It will continue to be led by Robert Blink, co-founder and CEO/President of Hudson and Jason Goldklang, co-founder and Executive Vice President. Blink will report directly to Draftfcb Healthcare and Draftfcb New York CEO Dana Maiman.

Maiman cited Hudson’s ability to adapt and deliver greater ROI for clients in an evolving industry as a key attraction to the company. “The large and growing demand for digital and interactive services has created opportunities for which Hudson is firmly entrenched as an innovator,” Maiman said.

She added Hudson’s proprietary digital delivery technology, called the SmartSeat™ platform, and its exclusive video streaming partnership with MLB Advanced Media (“MLBAM”) as vehicles that are sure to enrich current and future clients.

“Hudson can deliver best-in-class broadcasting, streaming, and bandwidth capabilities through its MLBAM partnership,” added Maiman. “Combining those offerings with Draftfcb’s creative and strategic firepower and tools will propel these sophisticated technologies to the next level.”

As for Robert Blink, he is confident that Hudson’s proprietary technologies and scalable delivery platforms that maximize messages for brands will tremendously enhance Draftfcb’s capabilities and commitment to delivering results.

“For example, our MLBAM partnership lets our programs reach virtually any physician, consumer, or caregiver through almost any media format or mobile application with the bandwidth to reach millions of end-users,” Blink said.

While details of the financial arrangement are not being disclosed, Draftfcb’s acquisition of Hudson is effective immediately, with a smooth transition expected over the next 90 days.

Draftfcb Healthcare will continue to be led by its current management team of Dana Maiman; Linda Wu, chief operating officer; Carl Sherman, chief financial officer; Rich Levy, chief creative officer; Harold Corbran, chief innovation officer; and Lisa Dujat, chief human resource officer. Other companies under the Draftfcb Healthcare umbrella include Area 23, Mosaic, NeON, and ProHealth.

With more than 30 years of experience marketing to healthcare professionals, Draftfcb Healthcare produces work that is both strategically relevant and creatively compelling. The agency provides its clients with multichannel capabilities, including payer strategy and marketing, professional education, video production, strategic planning and media services. Draftfcb Healthcare was named “Agency of the Year” by Medical Advertising News in 2006 and 2009 and by Medical Marketing & Media in 2007 and 2010. In 2010, 2011 & 2012, it was named “Most Creative Agency” by Medical Advertising News. Draftfcb Healthcare is a unit of Draftfcb, itself a member of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG).

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