New York, October 15, 2009
By David Gideon
The general membership of the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame voted to induct three new individuals at their Annual Awards Dinner to be held February 9, 2010 at the Pierre hotel in New York.
The 2010 inductees into the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame are:
Steven Girgenti - Spent most of the 1970s in marketing positions with Squibb, Carter Wallace, and Endo DuPont, where he was instrumental in the development and successful launch of Percocet. He moved to William Douglas McAdams, where he worked as a VP Group Supervisor before partnering with William Bologna to found Bologna International. He created a logarithm for Theo Dur that helped boost its sales from $12 to $100 million in less than three years. In 1986 he co-founded Girgenti, Hughes, Butler & McDowell, and took it public in 1997, the first healthcare agency to do so. He was also the first medical agency to buy a consumer agency, with the 1990 purchase of Rubin, Reid, Noto, Ehrenthal. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year by NASDQ in 1999, and Advertising Man of the Year by Med Ad News in 2000.
Irwin Lerner Began his career at Organon as a copywriter, and rose to advertising and sales promotion manager. He moved to Geigy Pharmaceuticals as sales promotion manager, working on Butazolidin, Tandearil, Anturane, Persantine, and Preludin. He was recruited to Roche in 1962 as advertising product manager for Librium, and was named director of advertising just prior to the introduction of Valium. He spent 32 years at Roche, 12 of them as CEO. Among his notable accomplishments, he developed successful campaigns positioning Librium for anxiety and Valium for psychic tension; introduced a private hospital television network which grew to include hundreds of hospitals; and teamed with former Organon colleague Joseph Ruvane, who had become president of the U.S. Glaxo organization, to have Roche and Glaxo introduce and co-market Zantac, and later Ceftin.
Mel Rubin started as a copywriter with a large direct marketing company. He left in 1950 with a friend to start the Shaller Rubin Company. His involvement with healthcare started with projects for Schering, then expanded with work for Geigy, Ciba, Pfizer, Marion Merrell Dow, and Norwich Eaton. He worked on both consumer and healthcare products, and gained a reputation as a hot shop, attracting top creative talent including several MAHF Hall of Famers. He was an early advocate of direct to consumer TV advertising, both for promotion of products and to increase patient compliance. His breakthrough came when his agency Rubin, Reid, Noto, and Ehrenthal - was the launching agency for TV ads for Marion Merrell Dows Nicorette anti-smoking chewing gum, the first ever branded television commercial for a prescription pharmaceutical.
The Medical Advertising Hall of Fame Annual Awards Dinner will be held Tuesday, February 9th, at the Pierre Hotel in New York with a cocktail party beginning at 6:00 pm. Tickets for the Dinner will go on sale on the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame Website (www.mahf.com) on November 10th.
The Medical Advertising Hall of Fame was founded in 1996 to honor those who have made significant contributions to the medical advertising profession, document the history of the industry, and attract next-generation talent to the medical advertising profession. Its membership is open to healthcare advertising agencies and publications, and currently consists of the leaders nearly 40 agencies and publishing companies.
For further information on the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame, memberships, and the Awards Dinner, contact David Gideon, executive director, at 561 395 3755, fax 561 395 4011, e-mail