New Zealand’s leading Specialist Healthcare Communications Agency, Essence – The Health Agency, is rounding off 2020 with two new Leadership Team appointments.

The Auckland-based agency has welcomed Kristen Marks as GM/Strategy Director and promoted Christy Leopold to Client Service Lead.

“We’re delighted to partner with these two incredibly talented women as part of the growing team here at Essence,” says Essence Director Ben Hart.

“These appointments have been made to assist with the increased demands of the healthcare sector. This year, we’ve seen strong growth in the sector, partly due to the challenges presented and opportunities for innovation due to the current environment.”

Kristen Marks takes on the role of GM/Strategy Director after a 20-plus year career in advertising and design, in roles both in New Zealand and internationally.

She’s been responsible for large global consumer brands in multiple markets, and her local agency experience includes a long stint with Redcactus Design plus time at Interbrand (DDB) and Colenso BBDO. Kristen will oversee the day-to-day operations and head up brand strategy at Essence.

USA-born Christy Leopold moved to New Zealand in 2019, and joined Essence, after working as Director of Account Services at a full-service digital marketing agency in North Carolina.

Prior to that Christy was Senior Account Manager at US-based global pharmaceutical and healthcare advertising agency GSW Worldwide (part of Syneos Health). She has over 14 years of experience in Client Service.

”I’m driven to finding innovative ways to advance consumer knowledge and enhance overall personal health experiences,” says Christy, who combines in-depth healthcare advertising strategy with website and digital marketing expertise.

Essence works with some of New Zealand’s leading healthcare brands and is focused on addressing the health literacy gap with clear and effective content that is strategically robust. The agency operates across both NZ and Australia in RX, OTC, B2B and consumer brand communications.

“We are passionate about engaging, changing behaviour and achieving measurable impact in the healthcare space. We use our insights and experience, now further enhanced by these two new team members, to keep propelling the sector forward,” adds Hart.