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Tossing same-old pharma marketing, agency veteran turns to Clubhouse and digital health democracy for inspiration

September 9, 2021 Beth Snyder

Every morning David Hunt sits down with a cup of coffee and Clubhouse. For an uninterrupted half-hour, he listens and chats with patients, clinicians, payers and anyone else who wants to talk about health in the Health.Reconsidered room.

Now Hunt, the former CEO and chief digital officer of Havas Health & You West, is launching a new style pharma and healthcare agency, The Considered, with Clubhouse-like changes in mind. Its bold promise tagline?  “Breaking the rules others follow.”

“What I love about Clubhouse and Health.Reconsidered is the health conversation is democratized,” Hunt said. “It no longer matters if you’re the CEO of a big pharma organization or a patient in Asia or a caregiver in Africa or a scientist in the U.K. or a primary care physician in the U.S., everyone’s opinion is equal.”

RELATED: Pharma advertising leapfrogged the norm during the pandemic­­—and creativity is flourishing, exec says

Health.Reconsidered is the agency’s digital thought leadership platform including a website, events and a Clubhouse room with a daily debate every day at 10 a.m. ET. Its Clubhouse room currently has more than 1,800 members.

Healthcare democratization, however, demands changes in the way pharma marketing traditionally is done, Hunt said. The Considered, beginning small with 75 decentralized employees and a nimble, creative mindset, is one way to do that.

Before the pandemic, he said, pharma was “very reliant on the old formula—volume, frequency, boots on the ground, big media. I think the whole industry knew it was becoming less effective, as clinicians and even patients turned more and more online, but it was a safe bet.”

Now the pandemic pivot to digital necessitates leveraging technology. He’s looking to break pharma and healthcare out of the rut of what he calls essentially talking to themselves, that is talking to the same people at the same conferences who come from the same backgrounds and go to the same restaurants and attend the same schools, he said.

RELATED: Pfizer, Roche, Teva grab pharma Cannes Lions for 2021, but a wearable company scores the top creativity prize

While Hunt’s own career includes a few standard creative wins—including winning Cannes Lions healthcare agency of the year when he was as CEO at Havas Lynx—he’s also chasing a new goal prioritizing personal happiness “doing great work with great people and a smile on my face.”

He still aspires to come up with big ideas but pointed out the people most enamored with extreme and bold creative pitches tend to be the creatives who come up with them.

“Don’t get me wrong, we want to have great ideas, but what we’re learning from Clubhouse and Health.Reconsidered is it doesn’t have to be the biggest and the boldest, it just needs to be the most effective and the most appropriate,” he said.  

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