Q&A with Cello Group CEO Mark Scott

With the Cello Group this week outlining its financial expectations for the year, CEO Mark Scott answers a few questions about the future of the company.

Why did Cello decide to invest and develop its focus on the healthcare industry?

We already had a strong position in this area, particularly in the research and strategy aspects for large pharma. Whilst big pharma is under pressure due to declining blockbuster pipelines, the healthcare industry remains an area of great opportunity, due to aging populations, emerging markets and marketing challenges which give rise to advisory need. Entry barriers for suppliers are high.

How much opportunity does the group believe there is within the healthcare industry?

We estimate that global market for marketing support services into the pharma sector is worth c.$20bn…so this is a huge and fragmented market. Our share is very small and there is plenty of room for growth.

What opportunities has this afforded the group?

Our core growth is being driven by increasing our global penetration of pharma clients and multinational clients, which we often service across multiple Cello businesses

The group has made acquisitions within this field in the last year. How much difference is there between a healthcare marketing agency and a general creative agency such as The Leith Agency or Farm?

The Leith Agency has deep experience regarding communications in the social health area, such as public social health issues and public welfare. Our brand development work often touches the “over-the-counter” branded health sector. Our most recent acquisitions focus on hard core ethical pharmaceutical areas. These three areas are part of a continuum, with ethical pharma increasingly migrating into OTC and branded areas, and being strongly influenced by the social health agenda. We can provide better input to our clients with integrated competences across all three areas.

How much of a difference has this strategy made to the business as a whole?

It is driving the shape of the business, as we globalise as a company

Would the group ever consider placing the healthcare business at the forefront and become a specialist or is it not a large enough sector?

Healthcare will grow as the core of our business, but we also continue to develop a global capability to service multinational clients across a range of sectors, most notably mobile telephony, fmcg, b2b and financial services

There has been a bit of a restructure within the senior management at Tangible. Why has this taken place?

In addition to his role as CEO of Tangible, John Rowley has been appointed joint Managing Director of Cello Group; Richard Marsham has been appointed Managing Partner. So the senior Tangible team have enjoyed major promotions as we position ourselves for further growth.

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