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Monday, January 30, 2012

Freelance Pharmaceutical Ad Copywriter for "McK Healthcare"

"Associate Creative Director--Copy

McK Healthcare - Greater Boston Area

Posted: January 23, 2012

Type: Full-time

Experience: Mid-Senior level

Functions: Writing/Editing

Industries: Marketing and Advertising

Company Description

McK Healthcare is a full-service marketing agency focused on advertising, market strategy, and branding solutions for US and global clients in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

We bring a combination of creative talent and business insight to every project, as well as our vast experience in therapeutic areas such as oncology, immunology, CNS, and neurology.

Job Description

McK Healthcare is looking for permanent and/or freelance Associate Creative Directors--Copy for concept development and copy development of assigned projects.

ACDs--Copy report to the Executive Creative Director and are responsible for creative solutions that meet the marketing objectives of our clients.


•Understand account dynamics and mobilize creative resources to meet account needs

•Implement assigned clients’ creative strategy through copy development, problem solving with colleagues as needed

•Communicate effectively with clients and teammates both verbally and in writing

•Facilitate brainstorming sessions with the creative and account teams to aid in concept development

•Support the executive creative director in management responsibilities (permanent ACDs only)

•Know the references used for each assigned account inside-and-out

•Responsible for teaching agency operations to others (permanent ACDs only)

•Responsible for learning about and keeping up with the drugs and diseases involved with specified accounts and the pharma industry


• Real, demonstrated copywriting experience (at least 7 years) in a pharma or healthcare-related marketing or advertising firm

•Proven ability to understand target audience requirements and translate to actions that enhance development of creative approaches and solutions

•A thorough understanding of branding

•Can demonstrate functional excellence in creating best-in-class creative solutions for clients

•Copywriting and referencing expertise across all media

•Thorough understanding of marketing communications

•Familiarity with healthcare issues

•Excellent written and verbal communication skills

•Excellent presentation skills"

“Freelance” Associate Creative Directors? It sounds like McK wants people to apply and produce their very best content in hopes of being selected as a permanent ACD, when in fact only those copywriters who have the “right personality” will be retained, resulting in the other freelancers looking for another job but without ownership of their original works contributed. If you enjoy writing for the peace and quiet it entails, don’t bother applying for ACD because the successful applicant will shill his/her written copy like a regular salesperson. McK apparently does not select copy solely on the quality of the writing like a merit-oriented writing workshop would but rather on the writer’s presentation about the piece and how popular it would be across media (hence inviting “kitsch,” or the vulgarization of artistic concepts to reinforce the mindset established by already popular, inoffensive icons and mainstream memes). These references to other media formats should not be mistaken for references to other intellectual properties, known as “allusions” in the literary world. Analytic writers and deconstructionists need not apply!

The position also requires knowledge of “account dynamics” and how to “mobilize creative resources.” I guess this means the successful applicant cannot be an introvert because account holders will generally not take the initiative to tell you that they needed different copy yesterday! (They tend to instead inform the lead / senior copywriter due to the rapidly transient nature of job assignments among a team of copywriters.)

It is implied that if you cannot tune into the vibe of the account holder’s needs yourself, you should find someone who can and then convince him/her to do your job as well as his/hers. The need to occasionally solve problems with fellow copywriters also means the incumbent cannot be boastful, lest coworkers issue a vote of “no confidence” on the personality behind the copy. Unlike a symbolic logic professor, the ACD who teaches others must be well-liked to be taken seriously within his/her field. We thus derive a calculus of copywriter dynamics as applied to the position of Assistant Creative Director:

Top-shelf copywriting skills – Charisma / office political skills = Temporary ACD

Above-average (or better) copywriting skills + Charisma / office political skills = Permanent ACD (Trainer)

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