Ashfield Health merges Pegasus with two agencies to create global comms and creative entity

Global healthcare comms network Ashfield Health has merged three of its agencies – Pegasus, Ashfield Digital and Creative and Cambridge Biomarketing – to relaunch them as Mind+Matter.

Leadership: Ben Beckley (left) is global president of Mind+Matter while Corrina Safeio (right) is its UK MD
Leadership: Ben Beckley (left) is global president of Mind+Matter while Corrina Safeio (right) is its UK MD

The network has also rebranded as Ashfield Health and dropped the word ‘Communications’ from its name following the appointment of former McCann Health president of the Americas Amar Urhekar.

New leadership

Ben Beckley, former president of Cambridge Biomarketing, will lead Mind+Matter as global president, from Boston in the US, while Corrina Safeio, former managing director of Pegasus, will be managing director, UK.

Other leadership changes include Carina Whitridge appointed as managing director, US East, and Alyse Sukalski as managing director, US West.

Beckley said Mind+Matter would be the first global agency to create meaningful experiences by bringing data and emotion together to drive behaviour change.

He added: “COVID-19 has shown in an instant how our individual health is also a truly global issue, and we need to offer clients a deeply interconnected, cross-sector response to their challenges – we will supercharge health communications with big thinking that’s unafraid to confront the toughest problems out there.”

The Mind+Matter team comprises 250 people across proprietary data, behaviour change and creative, working with clients including pharma firms Bayer, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi.

The new leadership team said the broad range of specialisms Mind+Matter could offer would drive better results for their clients and audiences.

There will be no redundancies as a result of the merger; on the contrary, PRWeek understands that there are plans to increase the size of the team.

Beckley said: “There has been zero downsizing; instead, we’ve grown to bring together the depth, breadth and mind-blowing talent to compete at the very top of the agency big leagues – and that’s where we’re going.”

Behaviour change

At the heart of the new offer is Change, a behavioural science-led methodology brand co-created with the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London

Mind+Matter will link Change with a proprietary data model in the coming months as part of its international growth.

Safeio said: “We’ve been using this approach for around five years, and on some of our most decorated and effective campaigns. Now, we can reach more clients and ultimately more people who stand to benefit from evidenced, considered behaviour change.”

Legacy

Pegasus was ranked fifth by revenue in last year’s PRWeek UK Healthcare rankings.

It was the agency behind the highly successful railway suicide prevention campaign ‘Small Talk Saves Lives’, which went on to win a PRWeek Award.

The agency also won the brand-led ‘best environmental cause campaign’ in last year’s PRWeek Purpose awards for its work with Holland & Barrett.

Creative and data

Mind+Matter’s regional leaders will be joined by Annemarie Crivelli as global head of experience and Alisa Shakarian as global creative director.

Crivelli, who is overseeing a “major investment” in Mind+Matter’s data capability, said: “Smart, effective omnichannel experiences always start with the data. We’re already aggregating data and applying descriptive analytics to predict behaviour before it happens, but this is really just the start.

Meanwhile, the merged entity’s creative offer will have the weight of the Ashfield health network behind it, said Urhekar.

He added: “Ashfield Health is designed to respond better and quicker to the new challenges our clients face. We encourage independence and entrepreneurialism in our specialist agency teams but also have the unique ability to work as one team when needed – our common purpose to make it matter has unified our agencies and built strong connections.”

Ashfield Health, itself part of UDG Healthcare, comprises agencies Mind+Matter, Incisive Health, Galiard and Ashfield MedComms, among others on both sides of the Atlantic.


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