Chandler Chicco Companies: Agency Business Report 2013

Last year was a tough one for Chandler Chicco Companies. Its revenue was essentially flat as major regulatory decisions made both current and new clients reluctant to engage the firm on new and ongoing projects.

Principal: Bob Chandler, founder, CEO
Ownership: InVentiv Health
Subsidiary agencies: 10, including Chandler Chicco Agency, BioSector 2, and Brandtectonics
Offices: Global: 17 wholly owned; US: 8
Revenue: $65 million to $100 million
Headcount: Global: 408; US: 244

Last year was a tough one for Chandler Chicco Companies. Its revenue was essentially flat as major regulatory decisions made both current and new clients reluctant to engage the firm on new and ongoing projects.

“I'm happy the year is over,” says CEO Bob Chandler. “We had some white knuckle moments,” and a slow summer for business opportunities was “unexpected,” he adds.

In the US, many clients put outreach plans on hold as they waited to hear the Supreme Court's verdict on the Affordable Care Act. Once the act was deemed constitutional, some clients awaited the outcome of the presidential election to see if the high court's ruling would be rendered moot.

Global barriers
Globally, the firm faced an especially hard time in places such as France, which saw the passage of the Reform du Medicament in late 2011. The law requires disclosure of payments of any amount to a wide group of stakeholders.

Germany also introduced a reform law and the changes have resulted in fewer business opportunities in both countries. Generally, many pharmaceutical companies saw the end of patent exclusivity to blockbuster products. This coupled with research and development pipelines that faced numerous development failures added to Chandler's woes.

“The concept of a blockbuster drug is dead. You're not going to find drugs that work for everybody and make tons of money,” says Lisa Stockman, MD of the agency. “Organizations are developing much more specialized treatments, which means smaller patient populations.”

While the pharmaceutical industry struggled, Chandler launched a campaign last year for seafood industry group the National Fisheries. Its members include Walmart, grocery chain Harris Teeter, and Yum Brands' Long John Silver restaurants. Agency subsidiary Allidura Consumer, oversaw the 2013 edition of the Heart Truth campaign for Diet Coke.

A realignment by parent Inventiv Health left Chandler Chicco with 10 subsidiaries, four fewer than last year. Subsidiaries including Ingenda Communications and Litmus MME now fall under the Inventiv Health umbrella. In early 2012 the firm opened an office in Shanghai, China, which Chandler says is seeing steady growth. 

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