Healthcare sector sees rise of Noonan Russo, collapse of Sciens

NEW YORK: Two starkly contrasting tales have put the spotlight on the state of boutique healthcare agencies this week.

NEW YORK: Two starkly contrasting tales have put the spotlight on the state of boutique healthcare agencies this week.

While one player - Noonan Russo - has emerged as top dog in a merger with sister Havas healthcare network Presence Euro RSCG, another - Publicis Groupe's Sciens Worldwide PR - has been shuttered, its remnants merged into sister agency Rowland Communications.

The Noonan Russo story ends speculation over its place in Havas after the holding company disbanded its Diversified Agencies Group in October, where it sat since it was acquired in July 2001. The new agency will be named Noonan Russo/Presence Euro RSCG, and will have 120 employees in New York, San Francisco, London, and San Diego.

Leading the agency, Susan Noonan will serve as president and COO, with Anthony Russo as CEO. Nancy Rueth, formerly president of Presence, will act as EVP of the new agency.

"This is where we wanted to be, but five years earlier,

said Noonan.

She added that there were "only a few

redundancies necessary on the senior management level, and that no conflicts of interest had arisen.

The agencies are claiming a combined 2001 gross income of $21 million.

In stark contrast, Sciens - an agency that has boasted up to 100 employees in its more than a decade of existence - has merged with Rowland Communications' New York office, and only five employees have joined the Rowland team. "The agency was consolidated to make greater strength,

said Sion Boney, chairman of diversified companies at Sciens' parent, Nelson Communications.

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