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Alex Von Plato, President and Global Creative Officer, Digitas Health talks creativity vs regulation


Alex Von Plato, President and Global Creative Officer, Digitas Health spoke to Advertising Health about her upcoming role as a judge on the Creative Floor Awards.

Alex has had a key role in the creation of several award-winning, next-generation healthcare agencies, including Current Communications Company, Medical Broadcasting Company, and Digitas Health. As a principal creative director, Alex has overseen the creative development of groundbreaking brand marketing initiatives and programming, including the first unbranded pharmaceutical website, the first Rx-branded social/viral campaign, for top pharmaceutical, life sciences, and wellness companies, like Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Target, Nestle, and Weight Watchers.

AH:  What attracted you to judging at the Creative Floor Awards and what differentiates the Creative Floor Awards from other Healthcare Industry Awards shows?

AVP: I expect this show to have the highest standards of creativity and originality with the deepest respect for problem solving in this space.  I expect us to brutalize work that follows the accepted Pharma formula.

AH: What will you be hoping to see in the work submitted?

AVP: I am looking for ideas that transcend the journal ad and detail aid.  There are a bunch of  world class creatives working  in health – but a lot of their most innovative work doesn’t make it out of regulatory review.  We are going to acknowledge the creatives that push the envelope and industry every day.

AH: How do you compare the quality of creative work in healthcare advertising vs. consumer advertising?

AVP: I don’t think it is about comparing quality – it is about understanding reality.  The reality is healthcare work requires expertise in science and medicine and has to meet regulatory requirements.  It takes a lot of creative talent and ingenuity to thread this needle.

AH: Should healthcare advertising still be regarded as separate from the wider advertising community?

AVP: Yes and no.

You can’t really judge this work without respecting the industry, the content, or the constraints.   That said, creativity is problem solving and all good creatives respect an ingenious solution to a tough problem.


To put your work in front of Alex you can enter the Creative Floor Awards here – The early bird deadline is 28 February and final deadline for all entries is 28 March 2014.