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DURHAM Creative and media agency McKinney has launched a new practice, McKinney Health, to bring together world class creative, data-driven strategy and long-standing health expertise. The agency tapped Michael McNamara, former President of Havas Life New York, to lead the practice.

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Health and wellness is at the forefront of our minds after the last two years and many brands outside of the traditional health vertical now see things through a health and wellness lens. Innovation in preventative care, wearables, tele-health, nutrition and the like have expanded the need for brands to break through the clutter and connect directly with consumers. McKinney Health will serve new health, wellness and life science clients while also lending support to clients across all of McKinney’s diverse verticals including Food & Beverage, CPG, Tech, Retail and more.

Michael McNamara will lead McKinney Health as Managing Director, after working as President of Havas Life New York for seven years. McNamara’s most recent experience was leading the agency that launched Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid. He has served clients ranging from high-science brands to wellness brands like ALL Free & Clear laundry detergent, to tech brands like the first Bluetooth-enabled inhaler for asthma.

“We wanted to create a modern offering, combining our culture and social-first creative approach with deep expertise in the health and wellness category. Michael not only has one of the best resumes in healthcare marketing, but he sees the future of health and wellness marketing the same way that we do,” said Joe Maglio, CEO, McKinney. “When clients come to McKinney they will receive award winning brand strategy and creative thinking, with access to industry veterans who have been working in health for decades.”

McKinney Health will pair the expertise of a health-focused agency with creatives and strategists who understand deeper consumer insights and cultural narratives. Unlike many health agencies, McKinney Health will be completely integrated within McKinney for the best Strategic, Creative and Media thinking. Given that health and wellness is a $1 trillion dollar market and growing, breaking through and gaining attention will be critical. McKinney Health won’t yield the same old same old work that is typical of the category.

“After being in the health and wellness space for so long, I’ve seen that there can be a disconnect on the marketing side that makes health & wellness options less approachable and accessible for some consumers,” said McNamara. “McKinney has a stellar reputation strategically and creatively, and lives their values of Smarts and Hearts®. It is an ideal company to launch this new practice. McKinney has a nimble, entrepreneurial spirit that is needed for this type of integrated practice to succeed.”

McKinney Health will have top talent across all McKinney offices – Durham, New YorkDallas and Los Angeles – and McNamara will be based in the New York office. As part of the Cheil Worldwide network, McKinney Health will also have access to health and wellness expertise around the world to deliver against client needs on a global scale. McKinney Health has already signed clients in wellness, health & life sciences. Health and wellness advertising veteran Darcy McCarthy has been hired as Group Client Director to help build the practice, and McKinney Health is planning significant A-List hires throughout 2022.