Chris Whaites Honored as Agency Vanguard Award Winner

October 13, 2022

Heartbeat Group Creative Director Chris Whaites Honored as Agency Vanguard Award Winner by Xpectives.Health

New York, NY, October 13, 2022 — Chris Whaites, Group Creative Director for leading healthcare marketing agency Heartbeat, has been recognized by Xpectives.Health as one of its annual Agency Vanguard Award winners.

Xpectives.Health is one of the leading forums for direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising thought leaders. The Agency Vanguard Award recognizes standout agency team members who are driving innovation and improving patient communications. It is awarded to select agency executives for their extensive accomplishments, influence on future consumer health launches or campaigns, and contributions and service to patients and the overall DTC industry.

Whaites received this honor following nearly three decades in the marketing industry, with 24 of those years devoted exclusively to healthcare advertising. He joined Heartbeat in 2003 as one of the agency’s earliest Creative hires and is fast approaching his 20th anniversary with the company.

Along with his immense talent and relentless dedication, he is known for bringing insight, empathy, and a passion for powerful yet simple storytelling to his work. His extensive list of industry experience includes some of the most recognizable brands in healthcare, such as Tylenol®, Cimzia®, Xyzal®, Viagra®, and Cialis®. More recently, Whaites played a key role in the launch of a blockbuster immuno-oncology therapy, as well as the creative efforts behind an unbranded atrial fibrillation and deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism awareness campaign — where his work earned him seven major industry honors.

“I’ve seen firsthand the profound impact that healthcare advertising can have on people’s lives; it’s why I’ll always be grateful to be a part of this industry,” Whaites noted. “And I’m equally grateful to be part of an agency that has allowed me to grow into the Creative I am today. To be mentored by the likes of Bill Drummy and James Talerico makes me one lucky Creative. I’m looking forward to the road ahead.”

Whaites is the fourth Heartbeat executive to receive Agency Vanguard recognition. The agency’s Executive Vice President of Marketing Janelle Starr received the distinction in 2019, following Heartbeat Senior Vice President of Strategy Hudson Plumb in 2018 and President/Executive Creative Director, James Talerico, in 2017.

Whaites and the other Agency Vanguard Award recipients will be honored at a ceremonial dinner on October 13, 2022, at the W Hotel in Hoboken, New Jersey.

About Heartbeat
Heartbeat is a full-service agency for healthcare Challenger Brands. Challengers are playing a high-stakes game — they must battle behemoth market leaders, upend ingrained treatment habits, or transform a “me-too” product into “yes-please.”

The agency is known for serving up distinctive strategies and differentiating approaches, ensuring clients’ market positions are uniquely owned. Heartbeat designs its organization around a “100% Integration” model, housing media, strategy, med comms, creative, technology, and even point of care/population health under the same roof for the tightest, most integrated campaigns possible. It prices work based on outcomes, not outputs. Its innovative model delivers not only alignment but also powerful orchestration, greater efficiency, and maximum impact for every dollar spent—all the necessary elements for Challengers to triumph.

That’s the philosophy, here’s the creds: nearly 300 employees between NYC & LA; multiple agency leaders with decades of tenure; a pile of awards from the likes of the MANNYs, MM+M Awards, OMMAs, and Clios; an industry-leading commitment to diversity & inclusion (with a Med Ad News D&I Champion nod to match); and a President who dared to be quoted as follows, “We celebrate people who stand up and say, ‘You know what? This is dumb.'” Damn straight.

For more information about Heartbeat, please email