David Hunt, former CEO of Cannes Healthcare Agency of the Year, Havas Lynx, and Global Chief Digital Officer of Havas Health & You, launches independent agency, The Considered, alongside a team of trailblazers that include: Professor Shafi Ahmed and award-winning CCO Pete Armstrong.
Established in response to the pandemic, The Considered is a bold new healthcare marketing agency that’s rewriting the old rules for a new era.
Eschewing tired formulas, rinse & repeat campaigns and, with new alternative thinking, The Considered is thoughtfully combining data, real creative, and pioneering customer experience to reimagine healthcare, unlock clinical benefits, and drive commercial success.
“In a world forever changed by a global pandemic, pharmaceutical brands have been elevated to hero status. Now, the industry has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to harness record positive sentiment and ride the wave to unprecedented impact,” says CEO and Founder David Hunt. “The foreseeable rewards and potential to change lives are there for the pioneers, but,” he adds, “healthcare brands need to realize that thriving in this hybrid and socially complex new world is going to require new campaigns, a new marketing mix, a new formula. It requires breaking the flawed rules that have stifled our ideas, and doing it with heart, wisdom and consideration.”
If anyone in the healthcare space has the pedigree and proven experience to lead such a sea change, it’s Hunt.
A true leader in the field.
A wunderkind who got a foothold in advertising at 18 within Creative Lynx, a Manchester-based digital marketing firm, Hunt quickly became digital director, and then executed a management buyout at 25—for a 50-strong agency that quickly grew to 100. At 30, he was the CEO, going toe-to-toe with global industry leaders twice his age, growing the agency to 400 people, and delivering iconic global campaigns and industry firsts.
With that upward trajectory, it’s not surprising Hunt grew Creative Lynx into one of the most successful creative Healthcare agencies in the world. Many took notice, and Havas acquired it in 2012.
As CEO of Havas Lynx, Hunt played a crucial role in its transformation from a small creative agency into a global healthcare comms outfit with 400 employees, year-on-year double-digit growth, and AstraZeneca, Janssen and Novartis among its global pharma clients.
Under Hunt’s tenure, there were awards galore, including a Cannes Lions Healthcare Agency of the Year award, PME EU Healthcare Agency of the Year, and Creative Floor Most Awarded Agency. There were also many notable firsts:
— Johnson & Johnson’s Psoriasis360 effort, which was the first true social media campaign in pharmaceutical marketing;
— One of the world’s first clinically proven digital therapeutics; Care4Today, developed in partnership with Janssen Healthcare Innovation, which transformed schizophrenia care;
— And a partnership with AstraZeneca that changed national guidelines, dramatically increased EGFR testing, and drove a sea change in the delivery of personalized medicine for those with lung cancer.
With a reputation in the industry for driving the best creative work and launching some of the most recognizable global healthcare campaigns, Hunt brought his mojo to the US in 2019, where he took on a new role as CEO of Havas Health & You West based in Los Angeles, and was quickly promoted to Global Chief Digital Officer. There, working on blockbuster US brands, Hunt oversaw the most significant change to the US pharma commercial model of the past decade, with innovation going into overdrive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Hunt was already well aware that healthcare is in an age of transformation, it was in this last role that he saw the need for profound change thrown into sharp relief. Never had it been more clear that healthcare professionals and patients were in desperate need of new help, and that the old healthcare marketing rules, tactics and formulas weren’t delivering what they once did. But there was a bigger realization.
When the pandemic created the tech-enabled society, Dave recognized a watershed moment: the pandemic had massively increased people’s reliance on and ability to use technology, across all generations, with astonishing speed. It was a new utility that could change and save lives.
“We need to fully appreciate the fact that healthcare professionals, patients, and consumers now have a much deeper understanding of—and greater confidence with—technology than they had before the pandemic. So, we need to create products and strategies that unlock this new reality and take this behavior into account,” Hunt explains.
“There’s so much clinical data that says preference, activation, and autonomy of all stakeholders improves clinical outcomes. This is not new information. Our ability to now deliver on this has radically changed. Tech-enabled solutions—patient support programs, for example—were hard to implement because so many people couldn’t use them. Now, there’s no denying it. People in their 80s are using Zoom, and that wouldn’t have happened if the pandemic hadn’t pushed people into adoption out of necessity. That’s just blown the roof off what we can achieve.”
Before transformation, disruption.
“Before the pandemic,” Hunt explains, “there was an awareness that the formulaic marketing mix was becoming less and less effective, but it was still the safer bet. The formula —which was reliant on face-to-face engagement to build rapport with customers, increase share of voice and drive brand awareness—is now broken.”
“The pharma industry,” he continues, “still relies on traditional teams of representatives and huge media investment. In the new world, they must embrace data, customer experience, social, mobile, and content—not on the periphery, but as the beating heart of activity.” “Furthermore,” he adds, “Most agencies are mired in legacy processes, infrastructure and ways of working.”
“The Considered,” Hunt says, “has been designed to deliver cutting-edge healthcare communications, in a contemporary fashion, developing better campaigns, at a better price point, in a tighter time frame. We’re an independent agency free from traditional bureaucratic systems—and free to harness global thinking, without the outdated business models and inefficiencies within current agency models.”
“Much of the industry is wedded to the old way of doing things. The makeup of campaigns is just an iteration of what went before. We want to break that pattern, break rules that are often followed blindly, and bring fresh thinking and ideas that will enable pharma to build trust, knowledge and empowerment across the healthcare community—we call it HealthControlTM.”
The new way. The Considered way.
It’s The Considered’s model and structure that allows them to solve the creative challenges that others cannot.
The agency’s hybrid model—flexible but with a physical presence—transcends geographic boundaries and provides fertile ground for uncommon thinking, cross-pollination and cutting-edge technological solutions—without the legacy real estate, outmoded practices and inefficiencies that persist within current agency models. They call it “talent without waste.”
Whereas a traditional local talent pool might be drawn from a 50-200 mile radius, The Considered taps into a sea of 7.9 billion—best-in-class talent wherever it can be found. With members living within different geographies, religions, political and cultural communities, fresh thinking and increased value is a natural outgrowth of The Considered’s structure, diversity and sheer multiplicity.
“The global component is the creative studio, to get the broadest ideas,” explained CCO Pete Armstrong. “The client-facing, strategy, medical teams and creative leads are based in the US, with focused hubs in NYC, Chicago, and LA. The senior leadership team is also based in the US with an expansive US advisory board. We think it’s the perfect combination of market insight and global thinking.”
A powerful proof point.
“We’re talking about new thinking, new ways of working, and breaking down barriers. To demonstrate how it’s done, we created Health. Reconsidered,” Armstrong asserts.
Health.Reconsidered—pharma’s first global Clubhouse community and The Considered’s thought leadership platform—exemplifies the agency’s capacity to make a major impact, quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively. Led by patients and patient advocates, the open forum discussions inform The Considered directly on the challenges and desires of patients around US. Health—sparking real insights and ideas.
And it’s been a hit. In a matter of months, it attracted 2,000 active participants and expanded to include one of the most exciting global webinars in pharma—all accomplished with zero media spend.
Resonating with many in the field, U.S. Oncology at Bristol Myers Squibb, Bob Allen, praised the effort: “It’s been incredible to watch Dave and his team establishing Health.Reconsidered as a global resource for so many. It’s a wonderful and inspiring community that’s showing, in real-time, how profoundly technology is driving engagement, accelerating change and breaking down silos in all aspects of healthcare.”
Expert, proven and world-class leadership team.
Independent and highly specialized, The Considered is a collaborative bolstered by the formidable expertise of its leadership team.
Professor Shafi Ahmed, for example, exemplifies the multi-dimensional, forward-thinking The Considered cultivates and champions. A surgeon, teacher, futurist, innovator, entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, and an evangelist for augmented and virtual reality, Professor Ahmed dramatically demonstrated the potential for technology to do extraordinary, impactful, far-reaching things—more efficiently than ever—by being the first surgical instructor to use Google Glass to perform and stream a live operation to 14,000 students across 132 countries and 1,100 cities.
On the creative end, Pete Armstrong is a multi-award-winning Creative Director with experience leading teams that span digital, advertising, and CRM agencies across the US. His hybrid background enables him to operate at the intersection of brand strategy, creativity, and technology, which powers innovative, people-centric creative solutions. In his previous role, he led a key creative effort for the US military, the biggest and most data-fueled communication campaign in the world.
Bringing a human-centric approach to lead the healthcare industry “from challenge to change,” Aurora Archer, founder and CEO of new-era marketing consultancy, Bellatrix Group, enables health and wellness clients to create meaningful disruption that drives customer choice and loyalty. With 25 years of experience, including seven years driving growth, digital transformation and brand revitalization at AstraZeneca, Archer is passionate about delivering business impact and reimagining health solutions that truly serve people.
Jane Kidd is driving growth for The Considered. A senior healthcare leader with more than 33 years of industry experience, Jane builds winning board-level strategies that transform organizations across the world and achieve impressive growth.
Small enough to care, big enough to deliver.
The Considered are 75-strong, and its partners are carefully curated to solve today’s biggest healthcare communication challenges.
In order to build the rapport, partnership and brands necessary for clients to succeed, The Considered partners with specialized experts focused on breaking industry rules to generate transformative impact.
One partner, Alex Butler at Foundry3, a world-leading digital health lab focused on innovation and social media, launched pharma’s first true social media campaign with Hunt a decade ago. Since then, he’s become one of the most recognized and respected leaders in pharma, specifically in digital health and social media.
Pioneering search performance in healthcare, Matt Lowe and his team at Performance.io are “simply the best in the world,” says Hunt. “I am delighted to watch the strategy, creative and content dovetail with the search strategies they execute. We have been collaborating at TwinStrand Biosciences and the impact of the collaboration is clear in ROI.” Twinstrand’s Head of Marketing, Alex Lindell, validates that fact by gushing, “Working with The Considered has been wonderful!”
Hunt also has plenty of good things to say about Anything, an award-winning open source web and app development agency: “When I was about 19 years old, I visited this agency, Code Computer Love. They were, head and shoulders, the best web development agency of the time. Absolutely brilliant. And at the heart of that was Jono Brain. He is one of the very best engineers and his team, Anything, is exceptional at the development of websites, products and services, and delivering elevated customer experiences. We are seeing this come to fruition with their work on Health.Reconsidered.”
What The Considered and its partners all share in common is the determination to transform pharma marketing through smart innovation.
Breaking the rules—for good reason
“The pandemic gave us time to think, time to consider what we’d do differently when we got the chance,” Hunt reflects. “Well, now we have that chance—and we’re breaking the rules. The question is: in this tech-enabled society, in this new world, in this time of great need and great problems to be solved—is there a better way of doing it? Yes, there is.”
Hunt, his leadership team, partners, and advisors have “listened, discussed and, with care, designed the creative agency that we believe pharma needs and deserves.” “The Considered,” Hunt asserts, “solves the problems presented by the hybrid world of physical and virtual customer engagement.”
From leading Havas Lynx to Cannes Healthcare Agency of the Year to launching The Considered in the US with a genuinely pioneering spirit, it’s been a fruitful and productively disruptive two decades for Hunt, who sums up the ethos behind his new enterprise by expressing the desire to “use experience, wisdom, data and insight, so that every decision, every idea, every campaign is based on robust reasoning, and that those ideas are then led with heart, empathy and courage.”