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Alan Gross, Joe Torre, and Jane Townsend Voted into Medical Advertising Hall of Fame

NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The general membership of the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame voted to induct three individuals at their Annual Awards Dinner to be held February 8, 2011 at the Pierre Hotel in New York. This year marks the induction of one of the first woman partners in a major medical agency, Jane Townsend, and – with the induction of her husband Alan Gross – the first time that a husband and wife are being inducted at that same time.

The 2011 inductees into the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame are:

Alan Gross – After earning degrees in microbiology, he started his career with ER Squibb & Sons as a detail representative, moving into positions as an advertising manager, creative director of their in-house agency, and director of advertising. In 1978, he started Alan Gross Communications, which became Gross Townsend Frank Hoffman. Responsible for developing many new concepts in advertising communications, including integrated multi-channel marketing/PR, and a dedicated CRM group. One of the pioneers in DTC work with commercials on Lifetime Medical Television. After building GTFH into a major force in medical advertising, he sold it to Grey Advertising in 1986, and retired from active industry involvement in 1993.

Joe Torre – Began his career as a pharmacist before moving to Roche, where he held sales, marketing research, and marketing positions. In 1977, he moved into the advertising field, joining Healthmark Communications as an account supervisor. In 1979, he co-founded Salthouse Torre Ferrante, which later became Torre Lazur Healthcare Group. During the next decade he built the agency into a major industry force. In 1996, recognizing the importance of going global, he sold to McCann-Worldgroup, and built an international network of agencies that grew to 50 offices worldwide.  He positioned his company early on as "The Launch Agency," a claim he backed up by handling more successful product launches than any other agency during his tenure. He officially retired in January 2010.

Jane Townsend – Started her career as a successful journalist before becoming a copywriter for ER Squibb & Sons, where she quickly rose to advertising manager. She moved to the agency side as an account executive at Kallir Phillips Ross in the mid-'70s. Having developed an interest in the consumer role in healthcare decisions, she moved to Shaller Rubin, an agency with a focus on the healthcare consumer. In 1978, she and husband Alan Gross started the agency that became Gross Townsend Frank Hoffman, making her one of the first woman partners in a major healthcare agency. In addition to establishing GTHF's early position in the DTC and CRM fields, she co-founded the Coalition for Healthcare Marketing and mentored a generation of women executives who have taken their place as leaders in healthcare advertising. She retired in 1993.

The Medical Advertising Hall of Fame Annual Awards Dinner will be held Tuesday, February 8th, 2011, 6 pm at the Pierre Hotel in New York. Tickets for the Dinner will go on sale on the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame website ( on November 12th.

The Medical Advertising Hall of Fame was founded in 1996 to honor those who have made significant contributions to the medical advertising profession, document the history of the industry, and attract next-generation talent to the medical advertising profession. Its membership is open to healthcare advertising agencies and publications, and currently consists of the leaders of nearly 40 agencies and publishing companies.

For further information on the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame, memberships, and the Awards Dinner, contact David Gideon, executive director, at 561.395.3755, fax 561.395.4011, e-mail

SOURCE Medical Advertising Hall of Fame
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