WPP appoints Gary Pattison as CEO of Health & Wellness as group unites health offering

WPP has appointed Gary Pattison to the newly-created position of CEO of WPP Health & Wellness AU/NZ, as part of the holding group’s plans to consolidate its health and wellness offerings.

Pattison will head up WPP Health & Wellness across Australia and New Zealand.

Pattison has spent 20 years in the healthcare communications sector across Australia and the United Kingdom, most recently as group managing director at Ogilvy CommonHealth.

In his new role, Pattison will work with the leadership teams of Sudler & Hennessey and Grey Health Group as well as lead the Ogilvy Common Health team.

Each agency will operate under its current brands, but will have shared visions, services and responses.

The appointment follows WPP’s global announcement that it will advance its offering and partnerships with clients across health and wellness by uniting under a horizontal parent company.

Speaking with Mumbrella, Pattison said his first job would be to bring the three health agencies “closer together”.

“The plan is still for those individual brands to operate with their clients, but the first thing for me to do is really look across the group, and bring us a little bit closer together and look at where we can collaborate services that are going to be key to the future of all three agencies”, Pattison said.

Pattison will also be charged with looking at how WPP’s 5,5000 people across Australia and New Zealand can better collaborate, and what expertise across data and insights, social, technology and digital gamification the holding group can bring the health and wellness sector.

The newly appointed CEO said the group will advance the offering of each health agency under the parent company but it will not add any new health agencies.

He added that WPP is in the “early stage” of bringing “new, novel products and services” that each agency could tap into and deliver to its healthcare clients.

Commenting on the health and wellness sector, Pattison said the timing of the launch was “perfect.”

“Years ago it was all about treating illness and that’s where healthcare agencies sprung up, it was assisting pharmaceutical companies with the treatment of illness,” he said.

“The fact that WPP have launched Health & Wellness now, the timing is perfect because the world we live in now is much more than about the drugs or medications that individuals take – it’s more about a holistic approach to health and wellness.”

He added the creation of the parent company was a “unique opportunity” for WPP.

“WPP is a huge organisation, locally and internationally, and this gives us a really unique opportunity to bring the power of WPP and the breadths, and the depths of the expertise within WPP to our health clients. And that’s what our clients want.”

Globally, the new specialised health care unit will include Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, Sudler & Hennessey, GHG Grey Health Group and CMI/Compas.


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