Do-good marketing

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Leo burnett usa's Mary Bishop is on a mission that will do more than just drive top-dollar pharmaceutical accounts to the agency. The 48-year-old Ms. Bishop, who built the Chicago-based agency's healthcare team, is out to introduce Americans to new products that could improve their health.

"You feel a bit like a missionary," says Ms. Bishop, who is also Burnett's president-chief marketing officer. "It's a very do-good area of marketing to be in if you believe in the medicines you're selling, and I do," she says.

WORKS ON PROZAC, ALLEGRA

With clients such as Eli Lilly & Co.'s depression-fighting Prozac, Pfizer's arthritis-relieving Celebrex and Hoechst Marion Roussel's anti-allergy Allegra, Ms. Bishop says, "You know you're helping lives."

Leo Burnett USA's healthcare group is expected this spring to get its own name, perhaps LeoHealth, says Ms. Bishop.

The unit had $775.9 million in direct-to-consumer billings by mid-1999, a 35.6% increase over the same period a year earlier.

Experience with Procter & Gamble Co.'s Richardson-Vicks products since 1983 and its Pepto-Bismol work since 1986 helped Burnett prepare for the day it would land a DTC client, Ms. Bishop says.

It wasn't long after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration gave marketers the go-ahead in August 1997 to advertise directly to consumers that Prozac, that same year, signed on with Burnett.

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