John Osborn

UK en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tive taps a big name in ad­ver­tis­ing to lead US ef­forts

As the phar­ma in­dus­try buck­les down to re­duce its car­bon foot­print — with some com­mit­ting to ze­ro emis­sions as ear­ly as 2025 — so is the ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try.

Ad Net Ze­ro, an ini­tia­tive based in the UK and Ire­land, has tapped for­mer OMD US and BB­DO New York CEO John Os­born to lead its ex­ten­sion to the US. The US di­rec­tor will be charged with spread­ing the word about Ad Net Ze­ro’s five-part plan to re­duce emis­sions in ad­ver­tis­ing, from pro­duc­tion to event plan­ning, and en­cour­age con­sumers to do so as well.

Over his time at OMB and BB­DO, Os­born worked with some big-name ac­counts in­clud­ing Pep­si, FedEx and Lays, and is “very blessed and hum­bled” to have worked on quite a few Su­per Bowl ads. His goal is to soft launch Ad Net Ze­ro in the US this year, fol­lowed by a full launch in Jan­u­ary of next year.

“Ad­ver­tis­ing has tremen­dous pow­er to in­flu­ence pur­chase, to in­flu­ence opin­ion, to dri­ve per­sua­sion, to gar­ner con­sen­sus,” he said. “But with great pow­er comes great re­spon­si­bil­i­ty, so the ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try re­al­ly has tremen­dous pow­er to make a dif­fer­ence here in a very pro­found and mean­ing­ful way.”

Ad Net Ze­ro an­nounced its plans for a glob­al roll­out at this year’s Cannes Li­ons fes­ti­val for ad­ver­tis­ing cre­ativ­i­ty, and the clear first choice was the US, which ac­counts for about 40% of the world’s ad­ver­tis­ing ex­pen­di­ture, ac­cord­ing to the group.

“I think some­times when peo­ple hear about any­thing re­lat­ed to cli­mate, cli­mate change, or fo­cus­ing in on car­bon emis­sions or re­duc­ing our car­bon foot­print, their mind au­to­mat­i­cal­ly goes to things that will be tak­en away. And that is ab­solute­ly not the fo­cus here,” Os­born said. “It’s on the pos­i­tive side of the en­er­gy equa­tion here, and that is build­ing back in a sense of, for ex­am­ple, cul­ture amongst an em­ploy­ee base.”

The group was found­ed based on work by the Ad­ver­tis­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s Cli­mate Ac­tion Work­ing Group, and the US ex­ten­sion is backed by a se­ries of ad agency play­ers and trade groups, in­clud­ing Unilever, Havas, Om­ni­com, ANA and IAB.

Ac­cord­ing to Ad Net Ze­ro’s re­cent re­port, 71% of peo­ple work­ing in the field are con­cerned about ad­ver­tis­ing’s en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact. The group set a goal to achieve in­dus­try-wide net-ze­ro emis­sions in the UK by the end of 2030.

“Our re­search has shown a de­mand for more cli­mate-friend­ly poli­cies amongst peo­ple work­ing through­out the in­dus­try, and an ap­petite for more ac­tion amongst client com­pa­nies and me­dia part­ners alike,” James Best, chair of the Ad­ver­tis­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s Cli­mate Ac­tion Work­ing Group, said in the re­port.

The phar­ma in­dus­try is a big-time con­trib­u­tor to car­bon pol­lu­tion, ac­cord­ing to a study pub­lished three years ago that showed its green­house gas emis­sions were 55% high­er than even the au­to in­dus­try.

A slate of com­pa­nies has jumped to ac­tion, lead­ing a big sus­tain­abil­i­ty push across the in­dus­try. As­traZeneca, No­var­tis and Mer­ck have set a dead­line for 2025, while oth­ers in­clud­ing J&J, Pfiz­er, GSK, Sanofi and BioN­Tech have set goals for 2030. In its lat­est en­vi­ron­men­tal, safe­ty and gov­er­nance (ESG) re­port, As­traZeneca pledged to de­vel­op next-gen in­halers us­ing an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly pro­pel­lant in part­ner­ship with Hon­ey­well.

“Words seem to be in pret­ty high de­mand around this par­tic­u­lar top­ic,” Os­born said. “I think the re­al em­pha­sis is re­al­ly go­ing to be on ac­tion.”

Vac­cine doc­u­ments, young lead­ers and mar­ket tur­moil: End­points' 10 biggest sto­ries of 2022

It’s been a volatile year in the world of biopharma. Market declines reset M&A valuations, and may be beginning to tempt bigger buyers back into dealmaking. Russia’s war in Ukraine disrupted drug sales and clinical trials. A new generation of young biotech leaders emerged in the Endpoints 20(+1) Under 40. And as capital runs dry in a tough environment for raising new funds, companies big and small are taking a look at their headcounts and operations for ways to make it through lean times.

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Tom Riga, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals CEO

Spec­trum im­plodes af­ter a harsh pub­lic slap­down and now a CRL from Richard Paz­dur

The FDA has gone out of its way several times to flatten any expectations for Spectrum’s lung cancer drug poziotinib, including slamming the regulatory door in the biotech’s face four years ago when the their executive crew came calling for a breakthrough drug designation and encouragement from the oncology wing of the FDA.

That stinging early rebuke pointed straight down the path to a corrosive in-house agency review of Spectrum’s attempt to land an accelerated approval for the oral EGFR TKI and a public whipping that included a classic takedown by none other than Richard Pazdur, who slammed the company for “poor drug development” that led to confusion over the dose needed for a slice of NSCLC patients harboring HER2 exon 20 insertion mutations.

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Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO (John Thys/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Pfiz­er CEO un­der fire from UK watch­dog over vac­cine com­ments — re­port

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told the BBC last December that he had “no doubt in my mind that the benefits, completely, are in favor” of vaccinating 5- to 11-year-olds for Covid-19. Almost a year later, those comments have reportedly landed him in trouble with a UK pharma watchdog.

Children’s advocacy group UsForThem filed a complaint with the UK’s Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA) last year accusing Bourla of making “disgracefully misleading” statements during the BBC interview, including one that “Covid in schools is thriving.” At the time, UK regulators had not yet cleared the vaccine for the 5 to 11 age group, though the vaccine did have a positive opinion from the EMA’s human medicines committee.

Big Phar­ma's Twit­ter ex­o­dus; Mer­ck wa­gers $1.35B on buy­out; $3.5M gene ther­a­py; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

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Sanofi's new headquarters, La Maison Sanofi, in Paris (Credit: Luc Boegly)

Sanofi wel­comes 500 staffers to new Paris HQ af­ter €30M ren­o­va­tion

When Paul Hudson took the helm at Sanofi back in 2019, he promised to reinvent the pharma giant — including its Paris headquarters. This week, the company set up shop in new “state-of-the-art” digs.

La Maison Sanofi, as the new HQ is called, is officially open for business, Hudson announced on Monday. The 9,000-square-meter (just under 97,000-square-foot) space accommodates 500 employees across the company’s government and global support functions teams, including finance, HR, legal and corporate affairs — and it was built with environmental sustainability and hybrid work in mind.

Sta­da to place $50M+ in­vest­ment in a new fa­cil­i­ty in Ro­ma­nia

While Romania may conjure up images of vast mountain ranges and tales of medieval kings, one generic manufacturer has broken ground on a new facility there.

German pharma company Stada said Monday that it has placed a €50 million ($51.9 million) investment into a 100,000 square-meter (1.08 million square-foot) site in Turda, Romania, a city in the Southeast of the country. According to a Stada spokesperson in an email to Endpoints News, the company has developed only 281,500 square feet of the site so far.

FDA tells Catal­ent to fix is­sues at two man­u­fac­tur­ing sites on its own

The CDMO Catalent will have to fix issues at two manufacturing plants in the US and Europe that were subject to inspections by the FDA this summer, giving the company room to correct the issues without facing further regulatory action.

The FDA gave Catalent a “voluntary action indicated” response to two inspections at the contract manufacturer’s site in Bloomington, IN, and Brussels, Belgium. Fixing the issues on its own is a preferable outcome to facing an “official action indicated” response, meaning that an official warning would be sent out or a sit-down with the FDA would be required.

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Merck targets vaccine-hesitant parents in its latest 'Why Vaccines' campaign. (Image: Shutterstock)

Mer­ck­'s lat­est 'Why Vac­ci­nes' cam­paign seeks to bet­ter in­form vac­cine-hes­i­tant moms

From Hollywood couple endorsements to targeted equity efforts, Merck has been pushing the value of vaccinations, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic disruption. Now the pharma is turning to a new target — vaccine-hesitant parents, and moms in particular.

Merck’s “Why Vaccines” latest social media and digital campaign spotlights real-life new moms who have questions about vaccinating their children.

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In­dus­try groups, CVS pick apart FDA's pro­posed path­way for gener­ics to carve out OTC in­di­ca­tions

Pharma industry groups like the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) and PhRMA are raising pointed questions about an FDA plan to create a new pathway for marketing prescription drugs with an additional condition for nonprescription use (ACNU), which would require more safeguards than the current OTC pathway but essentially carve out new OTC uses for some generic drugs.

Chief among the concerns were: Insurance companies dropping coverage for the Rx version, new ACNU patents to block competition, and industry essentially governing the pathway.

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