Lap-Band-maker Apollo names W2O integrated AOR

Apollo Endosurgery, which bought the Lap-Band weight-loss system last year, has brought on W2O Group for multichannel marketing work.

AUSTIN, TX: Apollo Endosurgery has selected W2O Group as its integrated marketing AOR for the Lap-Band weight-loss system.

The goal of the agency hire is to enhance the brand’s positioning through advertising, digital engagement, and multichannel marketing efforts designed to drive deeper engagement with customers and patients, the companies said in a statement.

Apollo is planning to emphasize the Lap-Band system, which it said is the only Food and Drug Administration-approved device for weight reduction in lower-body-mass index patients.

W2O’s creative, digital, and strategic groups in its New York, Los Angeles, and Austin, TX, offices are servicing the account, for which work has already begun. The firm expects to introduce a creative campaign in the first half of this year.

In December, Apollo completed its acquisition of the obesity-intervention division of Allergan. W2O was previously providing social and digital media strategy for Lap-Band while it was owned by Allergan, said W2O CEO Jim Weiss.

Once the system was sold, Apollo was in the market for an AOR, he added. Six firms were included in the RFP process, said Ted Stephens, VP of global marketing at Apollo. The turnaround was quick, with the company picking W2O in about a month’s time.

Apollo was in "a bit of a unique position," said Stephens, because it previously did not have an AOR and had not done much consumer messaging.

"We took a much more integrated approach – much of it performed by our analytics [teams] at the W2O Group," said Weiss, who added that the work is specifically focused on Lap-Band’s target audience. "They don’t have to do a Super Bowl ad."

Weiss noted that W2O’s work will go beyond traditional PR.

"This is an agency of record assignment; this is not a PR firm assignment," he added. "We’re more traditionally known as a PR firm, but we’ve evolved our model into something that’s more integrated."

Stephens said he could not disclose specific contract details.

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