AbelsonTaylor : advertising & marketing assignments

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AbelsonTaylor is a leading US healthcare agency, and one of the few large independents left in this sector, although it has a loose non-equity strategic alliance with Omnicom, with whom it has teamed on several occasions to handle selected assignments. Consistently one of the industry's most admired healthcare shops, it has nonetheless suffered from intense competition in the sector. AbelsonTaylor had an especially difficult year in 2012, acknowledging its first decline in annual revenues in almost 30 years. However, it appeared to turn the corner by 2015, claiming 25 new business wins, more than 20 of them without a pitch. Unlike virtually all of its competitors, AbelsonTaylor has avoided the temptation to diversify by adding on medical education, training, contract sales or other subsidiaries. It specializes in traditional advertising for the professional medical community but has a small portfolio of DTC accounts. Dale Taylor, still president & CEO, has no interest in giving up AbelsonTaylor's independence, which he claims gives the agency a big advantage in attracting clients. Ownership is split between Taylor and 14 other senior staff members. Stephen Neale is executive creative director. The agency claimed revenues of $72m in 2017, putting it among the top 20 healthcare agencies in the US. The business was formed in 1981 by Marv Abelson and Dale Taylor. Abelson was at the time one of the two partners in famed Chicago sales promotion agency Abelson-Frankel (renamed Frankel after his departure, and later acquired by Publicis). Taylor was a sales executive. The new agency was intended from inception to serve only healthcare clients. Abelson died in 1996, leaving Taylor as controlling shareholder.

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