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CG Life Expands Health and Sciences Focus by Acquiring Digital Agency

Integrated agency CG Life announced the acquisition of digital agency Toolhouse on Tuesday to enhance its technology and omnichannel capabilities within the health care and biopharma sectors.

The merger effectively doubles CG Life’s workforce to a total of 150 employees, enabling both agencies to reinforce their emphasis on commercial life science brands and digital omnichannel strategies. Toolhouse, established in 1995, specializes in collaborating with biopharma firms to streamline data organization, user-centric design, and marketing technologies.

The financial details of the transaction, finalized on March 22, were not disclosed.

Based in Chicago, CG Life employs an integrated marketing strategy to assist brands in medical devices, therapeutics, and diagnostics. CEO David Ormesher emphasized the significant shifts in the healthcare landscape, underscoring the necessity for agencies to adopt agile, omnichannel digital approaches to engage their target audiences effectively, particularly amidst increasing competition in the sector.

Ormesher noted that while holding companies such as Publicis, Havas, and Omnicom are expanding their presence in the health sector through acquisitions, private equity-backed enterprises are driving substantial competition and innovation. These entities are actively pursuing acquisitions in the life science agency realm, particularly focusing on pharma commercialization.

By integrating Toolhouse into its operations to enhance digital services, CG Life aims to fortify its commitment to health and science clients by leveraging technology-enabled, data-driven customer experiences, as highlighted by Mike Wiebe, Senior Vice President of Digital at the newly formed entity.

The landscape of the health and pharmaceutical industry is witnessing significant investments from independent agencies and holding companies alike, as brands intensify their B2B and consumer outreach efforts. Projections indicate that the health care and pharmaceutical sector will allocate over $36 billion to U.S. advertising by 2024, marking a 16.7% year-over-year increase. Notably, the vitamins and supplements subcategory has exhibited substantial sales growth, according to WARC.

As AI and emerging adtech technologies reshape the industry, collaborations between creative, media, and digitally-focused agencies are on the rise to gain a competitive edge in the evolving market. Rio Longacre, Managing Director of Advertising and Marketing Transformation at consultancy Slalom, highlighted the recent dynamism in the agency landscape, creating opportunities for expansion and market entry.

Ormesher emphasized CG Life’s integration of AI across its operations, encompassing research, creative endeavors, and omnichannel targeting recommendations. Looking ahead, he anticipates further consolidation within the industry, with a heightened focus on innovation and personalization in life sciences, spanning from targeted therapies to niche patient populations.

“It’s a future that demands a profound comprehension of the scientific domain alongside digital capabilities to deliver tailored messages to the right audiences,” concluded Ormesher.