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Agnosticism, Ad Agencies, and End Runs

Two articles in today’s New York Times highlight relatively new approaches to advertising. In the first, Melody Petersen takes a look at how medical device manufacturers are making an end run around doctors and appealing to consumers who may be in need of particular surgeries — and related medical devices. Taking a cue from pharmaceutical companies, which have increasingly targeted patients rather than healthcare providers, the device makers are raising some eyebrows among patient advocates. Why? Device manufacturers don’t have to follow the stringent advertising rules the FDA imposes on pharmaceutical companies.

Secondly, Fara Warner profiles Bay Area-based boutique ad agency Eleven that has survived and thrived throughout the dotcom crash. By focusing on what media works best for a given client — instead of going for the big-buck ego easers such as television all the time — the “agnostic” agency is able to reap rewards without risking resources. Seems like a sensible — and simple — strategy.

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HR