Agency CEOs are typically seen as hard-charging individuals who honed their skills in the account management arena. All the more reason that Tom Domanico stands out, with his background on the creative side and his modest, soft-spoken manner. He’s an award-winning art and creative director with a discerning eye and a consistently fresh approach to innovative brand building.
A skilled executive who helped drive the growth of one of the healthcare communications industry’s largest global agencies. A fierce competitor and trusted colleague who contributed richly to the healthcare communications and biomed industries by giving freely of his time and talents to further industry interests.
In 1966, future Medical Hall of Famer, Bob Buechert hired Tom as an assistant art director at Klemtner Advertising. Tom quickly advanced to art director on the Pfizer account where he built his reputation by his original work on industry leading antibiotics Terramycin and Vibramycin, specialty anti-infective Urobiotic, diuretic Renese, and anti-diabetic Diabinese.
In 1969, Harry Sweeney, another future Hall of Famer, and AD Jim Horne hired Tom as a Senior Art Director at Shaller-Rubin, where he worked on both Rx and OTC products from E.R. Squibb, Endo Laboratories (Percodan), Smith Kline & French (as SKF’s first external Rx shop), Eaton Laboratories (Chloraseptic) and Fleet enema brands. Within two years, agency principal, Mel Rubin (yet another future Hall of Famer), promoted Tom to head the agency healthcare division.
By 1973, Tom was recruited to join the William Douglas McAdams agency, at the time the largest medical agency in the country. His career flourished over the next ten years as he became a lead creative director on the Roche Laboratories account and was promoted to Executive Art Director and Senior Vice President overseeing all products. His role also involved the launch of new products, such as the complex anti-acne medication, Acutane, and Larocin. During these years, Tom also oversaw the production arm of McAdams as the Vice President of Medigraphics.
In 1983, Tom was recruited by another future Hall of Famer, Lester Barnett, to head a new Vicom office in New York City. This career move reunited Tom with Bob Buechert and lasted 27 years. The New York office of Vicom Associates was a small branch of a San Francisco agency with a staff of only six people when Tom joined. Under his leadership, the shop grew from six to nearly 600 employees with annualized billings of more than three-quarters of a billion dollars! Vicom was acquired by Foote Cone and Belding which, in turn, became Draft/FCB. Tom’s responsibilities were expanded from Senior Vice President, Creative Director to General Manager to President and, finally, to Chairman/CEO of Draft/FCB Healthcare.
The culture of the agency today is a reflection of Tom’s spirit – his intelligence, enthusiasm, dedicated work habits and his always present congeniality. Clients liked Tom working for them; employees liked working for Tom; and his competitors both respected his work and enjoyed his company.
Proof of Tom’s special talent and contributions can be found in the many plaudits that Vicom and Draft/FCB have received from the creative community, including the Aesculapius and Triangle awards, numerous CLIOs, inclusion on Medical Marketing & Media’s All Star list in 2007, and the naming of Draft/FCB as Agency of the Year by Med Ad News not once, but twice during Tom’s tenure, in 2005 and again in 2009.
From his earliest days in the business, Tom engaged in activities to inform and promote the importance of creative innovation in the medical marketing field. He has mentored and taught individuals, lectured and served on various organization and association committees and public panels, and displayed a wide-ranging understanding of the importance of communications to the furtherance of good health.
Tom has served on the judge’s panel for the Doctors Choice Awards and the CLIO Healthcare Awards, chaired the Global Awards, and has served on the Executive Board of the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame for many years, including his service as Chairman. He also participated in activities for the PAC/HMC organization, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, and the Coalition for Healthcare Communications.
Always willing to give credit to others, always a team player, one of Tom’s greatest pleasures, and accomplishments, has been sharing his talents and experience to help other people grow theirs.
Tom is a classic New Yorker – born in Brooklyn, grew up in Queens, studied art and advertising at New York Community College, and worked his entire career in Manhattan. He is the father of two grown daughters, Gina and Christa and lives with his wife, Maritza in Greenwich, Connecticut.