Rosetta Buys Wishbone, Increases Healthcare Footprint

Rosetta bolstered its presence in the healthcare sector with the acquisition of Wishbone, in a deal announced Friday.

The purchase lets Rosetta establish a foothold in the healthcare professionals marketing niche, said CEO Kurt Holstein. Its past efforts in the vertical have centered on consumer marketing. “Wishbone is [about] 99 percent marketing to professionals,” he said.

Privately held Rosetta, which services healthcare clients like Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Medco, and Allergan, said it grew its healthcare accounts by 33 percent last year. The Princeton, NJ-based firm stands to pick up around $15 million more in healthcare-related revenues from Wishbone clients like Pfizer, Meda, Genzyme, Baxter, and CardioNet, according to the announcement.

The Wishbone brand will, for now, remain intact, while maintaining its current management team and office locations. Holstein characterized the brand as too prominent in the healthcare professionals niche to shelve anytime soon.

“Wishbone has an extremely strong brand equity in the marketplace,” he said. “So, we are going to take our time to develop the right integration strategy.”

The deal represents his company’s first acquisition since mid-2008, when it purchased e-retail marketing agency Brulant, which was integrated under the Rosetta umbrella about six months later. In 2005 it bought pharma-oriented agency SimStar. The 11-year-old firm also has clients in the financial services, retail, business-to-business, and travel/hospitality verticals.

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