Leadership hires

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AUCKLAND, Today: Leading specialist healthcare comms agency Essence – The Health Agency is rounding off 2020 with two new leadership team appointments.

The Britomart-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 joins after a 20-year career in advertising and design, in New Zealand and internationally.


“Kristin & Christy have worked at international &NZ agencies – including DDB, Colenso, Redcactus, and GSW Worldwide.”

“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 she was senior account manager at US-based global pharmaceutical & 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 Leopold, 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.


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