Pharmacy first: Katz hires ad/marketing veep

Cosmetics, cards...pharmacies? That's been the recent career trajectory of Denise Darragh as she currently settles into the role of VP, marketing and advertising for Katz Group Canada, which owns over 1,800 pharmacies across the country, including Pharma Plus, Guardian, I.D.A, and Rexall. Darragh will oversee marketing and advertising for the Rexall family of pharmacies and for Katz's flagship brand Rexall Pharma Plus.

Cosmetics, cards…pharmacies? That’s been the recent career trajectory of Denise Darragh as she currently settles into the role of VP, marketing and advertising for Katz Group Canada, which owns over 1,800 pharmacies across the country, including Pharma Plus, Guardian, I.D.A, and Rexall. Darragh will oversee marketing and advertising for the Rexall family of pharmacies and for Katz’s flagship brand Rexall Pharma Plus.

Before joining the Edmonton-based firm, Darragh was the VP, marketing, product and brand for Hallmark Canada and Revlon Canada’s director of marketing. And with a background in CPG marketing totalling 20 years for non-Canadian brands, she’s looking forward to working for a marketer where ‘we design and build our strategies.’

Keep your eyes peeled.

While that other drugstore chain has successfully positioned itself as an urban beauty and convenience brand, Katz Group has differentiated with the tagline, ‘A Pharmacy First,’ and a significant TV and radio push created by Toronto-based Padulo Integrated, which became the AOR in June 2005.

Katz has also focused on building concept stores under the Rexall banner with a focus on health and pharmacy, which includes private consultation rooms to meet with pharmacists and free nurse-led health clinics. As well, many of the new locations are located close to clinics.

Leading the overhaul has been Andy Giancamilli, a pharmacist by training, who joined the company in 2003 and was previously EVP, dealer operations at Canadian Tire, and president and COO of Kmart Corporation.

As for Darragh, while it’s too soon to detail her marketing plan, she doesn’t foresee a massive overhaul of the brand’s current positioning. ‘It’s a strong platform,’ she says, but hints that she’s looking forward to enhancing the brand’s partnership with Air Miles. ‘Many of our pharmacists know their customers by name. That’s very unique and sets us up for some exciting loyalty programs.’