Exclusive: Freuds launches health and behaviour change as single offer under new leadership

Freuds is relaunching its healthcare offer as a separate business within the agency family, headed by Julia Bainbridge.

Julia Bainbridge has been made founder of health and behaviour change at Freuds
Julia Bainbridge has been made founder of health and behaviour change at Freuds

The agency will bring together its healthcare communications and behaviour-change offers under a single banner, with its own identity and a new website.

Bainbridge, who has been with Freuds for more than five years, was made partner earlier this year. She will lead the new entity with the title of founder of Health and Behaviour Change (HBC).

Before Freuds, Bainbridge worked for Portland and at Red Consultancy for nearly five years.

She will lead a core team of 22 people, but the HBC unit will still call upon the wider Freuds team’s expertise, according to client requirements.

The agency told PRWeek that, although it had been offering healthcare and behaviour-change work for a decade, the purpose of giving HBC a distinct identity was so that it could "attract exceptional briefs from the best clients", as well as aiding recruitment.

Bainbridge said: "We work with the private, public and third sectors to address the inequalities we face as a society. Our expertise and connectivity across health and the public sector more broadly means we’re highly experienced and adept at operating within highly complex and regulated cultures and environments, utilising best-in-class behavioural-change science and psychology."

Behaviour-change campaigns

Freuds has worked with Public Health England (PHE) on behaviour-change campaigns such as 'Stoptober' and 'Change4Life' for more than a decade.

NHS England, AbbVie and Roche are among the agency's other high-profile clients in public- and private-sector healthcare. It also works with Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Department of Education.

Bainbridge said Freuds' private sector healthcare clients were increasingly attracted by the behaviour-change work they saw in the public sector, often on stringent budgets and with an obligation to deliver measurable change.

The new entity will call upon the agency’s wider expertise in strategy, media, creative and digital to create behaviour-change campaigns for its clients.

Bainbridge told PRWeek the new offer was also a way of adapting to the changing needs of clients and would help differentiate Freuds from traditional healthcare PR agencies that "rely heavily on selling their medical expertise".

She added: "On health specifically, pharmaceutical clients are changing their own communication models and budgets as they understand the need for greater transparency and purpose in a world where the citizen-patient is paramount and branded communications budgets are being tightened concurrently."

The new offer will be officially launched in August, but is already up and running following a soft launch last week.

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