JW Grosvenor House, London, March 17th 2023

Now in its 37th year, the Pharmaceutical Marketing Society (PM Society) Awards have been the annual event of note for healthcare agency executives and pharma marketing professionals. Showcasing a vast array of creative work across the industry, the awards have become synonymous with showcasing excellence in advertising, and the numbers of attendees that turn up, as well as the calibre of presenters (this year “Catchphrase” presenter Stephen Mulhern, last year Russel Kane) are testament to continued allure of the awards.

However, for Indigo Medical, these awards have remained somewhat of an elusive event…

You see, Indigo Medical produces stellar work, however, it doesn’t operate in the same space as the creative advertisers and marketeers that frequent the PM Society Awards. Instead, Indigo tends to focus on what it does best: ensuring agency work is 100% compliant and delivering clear & consistent medical communications to medical and diagnostic departments.

However, late in 2022, Indigo Medical did get a chance to be part of the PM Society Awards and get a seat at the table. It’s just that this instance came from far from expected route.

The Golden Ticket

As part of the SCIRIS Group, Indigo Medical is lucky to have seven companies to call upon for support. This can come in the way of finding additional resource for a project, obtaining a creative second / third opinion, or in the case of the awards ticket, having someone from the group that can network-a-way into the event.

Andrew Short, Global Creative & Digital Director from 3 Stories High, has been in-and-around the PM Society Awards for decades. And as the awards relies on a large number of volunteers to help judge the entries, Andrew asked the group creatives and innovators whether they would like to be a judge at 2023’s event.

Step forwards Sharaz Luke, Head of Strategy & Innovation from Indigo Medical, Nick Lakey, Art Director from 3SH and Tom Pullen, Creative Lead from Porterhouse. All were asked if they’d be interested to join a panel of 60 judges. All gladly accepted.

Judging began in December 2022 and concluded mid-January 2023, with a large number of categories (19 in total) reflecting the numerous channels available and intended audiences in the healthcare industry.

And so, with the nominated short-lists created, all that remained was a trip to the Grosvenor Hotel one rainy day in March.

The Awards Day, as it unfolded.

There was a palpable buzz leading into the conference suite at the Grosvenor Hotel on Park Lane, a short walk from London’s Marble Arch.

Glitz, glamour and extortionate London prices for pre-awards drinks.

Still, it was amazing to see Indigo Medical on the board!

The SCIRIS representatives of Andrew, Sharaz and Tom from 3SH, Indigo and Porterhouse respectively, were joined by a few other team members, namely Isaac Batley, CEO of SCIRIS Group and Meg Rycraft, Global Group Talent Manager. The team navigated their way to table 54 in the vast auditorium and were joined by a fellow judge from Salt Thinking, Chris, along with business partner, Kath.

After a quick lunch (remember, the event started at 12pm) it was time for the host to get the show on the road.

The full list of the finalists from 2023 can be found on PM Society Website, link below:

Finalists 2023

At the halfway point it was great to hear that contributions from sponsors and donations in the room had amassed a significant amount (£10k) for the recognised charity, which this year was Duchenne UK

Kudos to all that contributed.

And it was great to see SCIRIS CEO Isaac on stage for the Champagne giveaway! Unfortunately, the champagne didn’t find its way to table 54.

So, takeaways from the day?

With over 1000 in attendance at the event, it was clear that the awards were a celebration of the quality and best practice in healthcare communications.

Some of the entries were truly extraordinary and really pushed the boundaries in terms of:

  • design
  • creativity
  • copy
  • and innovation

There were also new categories in the field of diversity & inclusion as well as creative impact, showing that the organisational committee are keen to ensure that the awards stay relevant with changing times.

One aspect which was prevalent for all to see was the sense of togetherness across agencies. No animosity, no jealousy. Just recognition of the hard work that each project requires from a huge team of creatives, writers, designers, digital and marketing, all working with and for pharma.

A lot of networking was had, as well as a few glasses of wine. And not a bad word from anyone.

Will Indigo Medical’s Medical Communications team ever be nominated for an award?

I would say there is a fair chance in the future.

Learnings will be fed-back from the team, and who knows what types of projects will pass by the communications team in the future (including across SCIRIS group projects).

And if not, then Indigo will for sure support any nominations from within the SCIRIS Group as well as newly found friends in the healthcare marketing and pharma world.

Everyone has a chance to shine for one evening.