Welcome to the PM Society Digital Awards 2021

The Digital Awards is in its 12th year and celebrates the best in digital communications within the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. Judges include experts from digital, creative and communications agencies, digital specialists and marketers from industry as well as healthcare professionals.

This year, the event was held online for the second time, due to the pandemic. Over 700  e-tickets were issued for the event which was hosted on an interactive events platform on the 16th of September. With some teams watching together in offices, the total audience was estimated at well over 1000. This free event was made possible by generous sponsors, with overall sponsorship provided by Precisioneffect.

The awards platform allowed each sponsor company to show a video advert, share key company information and talk live to attendees. PM Society Director, Carwyn Jones, interviewed Christina Busmalis from Google Cloud and attendees networked with each other before and after the show, messaging or using a video chat function.

Chair of the Digital Awards, Rachel Farrow, said,

“It was a difficult decision to commit to an online event again this year, a decision that had to be made months ago. I’m so pleased we saw such high engagement with the awards platform. There is something to be said for the accessibility of these largescale and free to attend online events – a much wider community can attend the event, see the finalists’ work, and watch their teams win awards for their great work “.

What stood out was the spread of companies represented among the finalists. 44 agencies and 46 client companies (pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare organisations) had projects in the shortlists of the 19 categories. This is the widest range of finalists in Digital Awards history.

This year, Havas Life Medicom stood out from the agency crowd, winning three Gold awards plus ‘Agency Digital Team’, as well as three Silver awards and two Bronze awards. ARK agency were in second place with two Golds and one Silver, and Pharmadoctor came in third with two Gold awards.

‘Digital Project or Account Manager’ was won by TVF Communications’ Marta Zima. A new category, the Behavioural Science Award, used the Markify behavioural analysis tool to analyse entries across 120 criteria using key behavioural science principles. This is a first for a UK pharma awards and introduced a new method for assessing the quality of entries. This award was also won by Havas Life Medicom.

Other agency Gold winners were Area 23, an IPG Company, CREATION.co, earthware, MJL, Mole Digital, Wordbird with Touch, Lucid Group and Ruder Finn, Wave Healthcare Communications and Real Chemistry.

Among pharma companies and healthcare organisations, the top three companies, taking two Golds each, were AstraZeneca, klarify and Novartis Gene Therapies.   Other Gold winning client companies were Biotest AG, Edwards Life Sciences, Frontline.Live, Huntleigh, Galderma, GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Norgine, Santen and Takeda UK.

This year’s Pharma Digital Partner was Spyros Zervas from Edwards LifeSciences with Highly Commended going to Jade Dorey from Accord.

Chair of the Digital Awards, Rachel Farrow, said,

I’m particularly pleased with the breadth of finalist companies represented this year. To see work from 44 agencies and 46 client companies is remarkable and I hope it gives inspiration to those smaller, newer companies that haven’t entered before.

I’d like to call out our 58 judges, who put in so many hours of work. One consequence of the forced changes due to the pandemic is that the second round ‘face to face’ judging is so much easier online. Agencies can take just 30 minutes out of their day to present to the panels on Zoom, compared to giving up at least a half day when we held our second round judging in person. This is something which we will keep going forward.”