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Are You Creative Enough to Work in Healthcare?

By Rich Levy, EVP, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Health 


Attracting the best and brightest to healthcare advertising is a continued battle. But, we're fighting a good fight to combat the myths and stereotypes and change perceptions. Big brands are a draw for many young creatives, but not all. During my many tours to some of the leading communications universities, including Syracuse, New York University, BYU and American University, I have found an increasing number of students interested in more altruistic work. Many have cited "doing good" as a reason to join our burgeoning industry and I'm glad. There's so much we do well and so much more we can continue to do.

Healthcare advertising doesn't have to suck.

I started my career in consumer advertising and it was fun and rewarding. "Can you hear me now?" Yup, that was mine. I'm as proud of that campaign as I am for work covered by leading industry publications about COPD and Crohn's disease. We do work that generates consumer buzz and press attention. That matters.

Having the might of Cannes behind healthcare is sure to increase our profile and start conversation that will change the course of our industry. I'm thrilled that FCB Health is helping lead the way to educate and show prospects just how creative healthcare advertising is and can be.

In preparation for our Cannes seminar taking place Saturday, June 14, at noon, we surveyed 225 advertising students about their perceptions and attitudes about healthcare, and the results were incredibly surprising.

  • 89% of students said they are NOT considering a job in healthcare advertising.
  • 41% of students said they would consider a job in healthcare if there were "no other option."
  • When asked "why wouldn't you consider healthcare as a career?"
    • 34% said it's because "I can't do good work."
    • 29% said it's because "I don't know enough about it."
  • 22% of students got their career information from professors and 18% of students said they would NOT consider a career in healthcare because "my professor discourages it."

There is clearly a lack of information and understanding about the healthcare advertising industry that needs to be changed. For those, like me, who love their jobs, we have to continue to pound the pavement and be healthcare evangelists. We're on the front lines and can tell the real story. It is creative. You can do good work. And, it is a great option.

The more students we educate and the more renowned festivals like Cannes promote the industry, the better it will be.