Pete Smith has been appointed regional innovations and creative director, Asia Pacific, for Ogilvy Health. He has relocated from Sydney to Shanghai to take up the position on 8 October.
He joins the core team alongside regional director Rohit Sahgal, based in Shanghai, and regional director for insights and strategy Sebastien Boisseau, based in Singapore.
Ogilvy's healthcare offering reaches across Asia with hubs in China, Korea, Japan, India, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.
Smith will be responsible for India operations as part of his regional role in Ogilvy Health. The Ogilvy Health India team consists of nine people, spread across creative, account management,social media/digital and medical education.
The new specialist agency model will service the needs of global, regional and local clients like Bayer, AstraZeneca, Nestle Nutrition and Kinerase across the over-the-counter (OTC), nutrition and wellness categories.
Sahgal, who joined the agency in November, told Campaign Asia-Pacific the move follows feedback from healthcare clients that investment in creative talent for the sector is lacking, especially considering the importance of connecting with increasingly digital-savvy doctors and patients online and through social media.
With more than two decades' agency experience, including 15 years focussing on the healthcare industry, Smith has worked for agencies like Curtis Jones Brown, specialist healthcare and rural communications agency Hammond & Thackeray, McCann-Erickson, and most recently BBDO Sydney, where he served as creative director.
Previous healthcare clients under his remit include AstraZeneca, Bayer, Sanofi and GSK.
“Pete has been a leading advocate for digital, new technology, experiential and social marketing in a health context, but has always followed the simple principle that every great campaign needs a great idea brilliantly executed," Sahgal said. "He has embraced and driven serious innovation of new media platforms into the healthcare sphere—in particular the ‘digitalisation’ of healthcare creativity."
A part of this article first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific