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Policy News

DeMISTifying Foggy Bottom + the Rest of D.C.

Hot Topics | February 26th, 2021

If you visited Washington, D.C. as a child, you probably snickered when your parents brought you to Foggy Bottom. The somewhat silly name was a fitting description of the neighborhood at the time it was established rather than a joke gone awry. Foggy Bottom was built on low-lying lands next to the Potomac River, which made the area prone to fog. With the arrival of the industrial revolution, the area became even foggier with factories such as the Washington Gas Light Company belching gas and exhaust fumes. Today Foggy Bottom is known as the home of the U.S. State Department, JFK Center for Performing Arts, the George Washington University and other D.C. institutions.

Speaking of D.C. institutions, this week saw a flurry of health hearings, as Biden is trying to secure his administration. Nominees were met with sharp questions leading to big headlines.

Becerra: Foe of pharma

  • Xavier Becerra, California’s Attorney General and President Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), faced criticism from Republicans during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing for his support of abortion and his qualifications. (The HillRoll Call) These critiques might be expected in the current partisan climate, but in an unexpected twist several senators attacked Becerra for not being a friend of the pharmaceutical industry. STAT pointed out the “line of attack runs counter to most Americans’ starkly negative view of the pharmaceutical sector, and the fact that before [former HHS Secretary Alex] Azar, no health and human services secretary had ever previously worked for a drug company.”

Other health hearings on the hill

  • Dr. Rachel Levine (Assistant Secretary of HHS Nominee): Dr. Levine, a pediatrician from Pennsylvania, went before the Senate HELP Committee on Thursday. While she received many questions on issues of public health and COVID-19, it was Senator Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) line of questioning that made headlines. The Senator faced criticism for remarks that characterized gender-affirming care as “genital mutilation,” a term not used by the mainstream healthcare profession to describe these treatments. (The HillThe Washington Post)
  • Dr. Vivek Murthy (Surgeon General Nominee): Dr. Murthy, whose hearing was held in tandem with Dr. Levine’s, was questioned by Senate Republicans for his position that gun violence is a public health issue. What was not discussed was Dr. Murthy’s work as a COVID-19 consultant for the cruise industry, Airbnb and other companies. (The Washington Post)

Your guide to FDA guidance

  • This week the FDA issued a flurry of guidance for industry and for the public:
    • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine can now be stored at conventional pharmaceutical freezer temperatures. (FDA)
    • The FDA released a briefing document endorsing the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which will be reviewed by an advisory committee today. (Axios)
    • The FDA issued guidance allowing vaccine developers to forego large randomized placebo-controlled trials for clinical trials testing COVID-19 vaccines tailored to fight specific variants. (The HillFDA)
    • And coming soon: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working on safety recommendations for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (The Hill)

It’s Up to You

  • An Ad Council campaign funded by the US government called “It’s Up to You” was revealed this week, which aims to encourage Americans to get vaccinated when it is their turn. The campaign is one of the largest public education efforts in US history, and calls for viewers to visit www.getvaccineanswers.org for more information about COVID-19 vaccine safety and availability. (The Washington Post)

If you enjoyed this excerpt from this week’s Policy News from Goodfuse, we invite you to email us at YourTeam@goodfuse.com to sign up the full weekly “insider only” newsletter featuring fun-to-read round-ups of Hot Topics, breaking news and some quirky facts to make your Fridays Goodfused.

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Policy News

When Politics and Plush Toys Don’t Mix: The Story of Billy Possum

Hot Topics | February 19th, 2021

The year was 1908, and Theodore Roosevelt’s hand-picked successor William Howard Taft was elected president. Roosevelt’s popularity meant toy manufacturers had profited handsomely off the teddy bear. However, the industry started to look for the next big toy craze, worried the teddy bear’s popularity would wane with its eponymous president leaving office.

Fast forward to January 1909, when a banquet in Atlanta was thrown in Taft’s honor. By request the president-elect was served “possum and taters,” which is exactly what it sounds like: an 18-pound whole-cooked opossum served on a bed of sweet potatoes.

Local supporters then presented Taft with a stuffed possum, beginning a frenzied campaign to make “Billy Possum” the latest and greatest toy. The Los Angeles Times proclaimed, “the teddy bear has been relegated to a seat in the rear, and for four years, possibly eight, the children of the United States will play with Billy Possum.” A postcard advertising the new toy declared: “No more Teddy Bear/We will fondle with glee/Billy Possum is future/Our mascot shall be.”

You may be asking yourself, given such fanfare, what happened to Billy Possum? Unsurprisingly, poor Billy was not well received by children, and the marsupial’s boosters had given up on the toy before Christmas 1909.

Drug pricing reforms arrive at statehouses

  • Several state legislatures are advancing legislation to lower drug prices. While details vary from state to state, many are looking to “import Canadian drug prices” following stalled efforts to import pharmaceuticals themselves from North of the border. By tip-toeing around potential barriers such as including Medicaid programs in the policies, states are aiming to craft bills that will withstand industry lawsuits. The fact that these proposals are advancing in states from across the political spectrum – left, center and right – illustrates the broad bipartisan support for drug pricing reform. (STAT)

Woodcook defends industry interactions

  • Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock rejected calls for the FDA to erect a “firewall” between employees involved in pre-submission industry interactions and post-submission decision-making. Woodcock argued the proposed firewall, “would cause significant negative repercussions for public health.” The FDA drew the ire of an advocacy group for the way it handled the review of Biogen’s aducanumab, an Alzheimer’s drug. The agency released favorable briefing documents it co-authored with Biogen, which prompted criticism from Advisory Committee members that the FDA gave a biased presentation. (STAT)

Your Medicaid minute

  • An analysis of House Democrats’ plan to temporarily expand healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act isn’t too rosy. The report found the proposal would cover fewer than 2 million uninsured Americans at a cost of $50 billion. (Axios) Meanwhile, the White House moved to withdraw Medicaid work requirements approved under the Trump administration. (POLITICOThe Hill)

Introducing Medicare-X

  • Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) have drafted a bill that, if signed into law, would accomplish President Biden’s goal to create a government-run public option health plan. Under the proposed legislation, the plan would first roll out in markets with high premiums due to a lack of competition and be available nationwide by 2025. (The HillThe Washington Post)

If you enjoyed this excerpt from this week’s Policy News from Goodfuse, we invite you to email us at YourTeam@goodfuse.com to sign up the full weekly “insider only” newsletter featuring fun-to-read round-ups of Hot Topics, breaking news and some quirky facts to make your Fridays Goodfused.

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Job postings

Junior Motion Graphics Designer

Posted February 19, 2021

Our Community

Goodfuse, a WPP company, is an award-wining, high-touch boutique agency designed to guide clients through the most unpredictable communications challenges with a seasoned, hands-on senior team, and full-spectrum, fully integrated capabilities that put people first. Digital to traditional, media relations to public affairs, clients engage us to simplify. Humanize. Make something good far better. And get it right — and remarkable — right away. We bring unparalleled strategic thinking and flawless execution to a Fortune 50 company and its multiple brands around the world. Our work spans the Healthcare and Brand communications spectrum as we work on everything from consumer campaigns to high science initiatives.

What you will do…

As Vice President based in New York City you will be responsible for leading accounts under one of the largest and most well-known pharmaceutical companies in the world. The work is an interesting blend of social, digital, and data/regulatory milestones for one of the most innovative oncology franchises in the industry. We are revolutionizing the healthcare PR industry and looking for someone passionate about pushing those boundaries with us.

  • Overseeing all aspects of account management including articulating key messaging from complex data, strategic planning, counsel, and team management on a global, highly-matrixed team
  • Anticipate challenges and/or roadblocks and escalate them appropriately offering potential solutions
  • Flesh out ideas as they relate to client objectives and learn how to bring them to life in presentations and written proposals
  • Lead and mentor junior team members to build a culture of high performance

Who you will be…

  • Minimum of 7+ years of experience working within a PR or Advertising agency on both Healthcare and Consumer accounts
  • Pharmaceutical experience is highly desired
  • Oncology and rare disease experience is ideal, but equally necessary is a passion for the healthcare space
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills
  • Top-notch project management and attention to detail across ever shifting priorities
  • Impeccable client relationship skills especially with high-touch clients
  • Ability to be senior member of an agency team with any moving parts, and lead junior team as a project manager, coach, and mentor
  • Strong strategic thinking and counseling ability
  • Strong presentation and speaking skills
  • Bachelor’s Degree required

Interested? Send your resume and cover letter to Sheila Powers at HR@goodfuse.com. To learn more about us please visit:

  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Company Website

Goodfuse does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, age, national origin, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other reason prohibited by law in provision of employment opportunities and benefits.

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Job postings

Account Executive, Digital

Posted February 25, 2021

Our Community

Goodfuse, a BCW Group company, is an award-wining, high-touch boutique agency designed to guide clients through the most unpredictable communications challenges with a seasoned, hands-on senior team, and full-spectrum, fully integrated capabilities that put people first. Digital to traditional, media relations to public affairs, clients engage us to simplify. Humanize. Make something good far better. And get it right — and remarkable — right away. We bring unparalleled strategic thinking and flawless execution to a Fortune 50 company and its multiple brands around the world. Our work spans the Healthcare and Brand communications spectrum as we work on everything from consumer campaigns to high science initiatives.

What you will do…

As a Senior Account Executive based in New York City, you will be assisting in digital and social media efforts across healthcare and consumer accounts. You will be part of a growing and vibrant team, providing your expertise and advice on the latest digital strategies and technologies. We are revolutionizing the healthcare PR industry and looking for someone passionate about pushing those boundaries with us.

  • Work directly with the head of digital and digital team to develop inspirational digital and social media strategies to help elevate our clients’ brands
  • Draft content for social channels including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
  • Help to moderate and monitor social communities in our space including social auditing and listening
  • Develop an understanding of all social channels, how they are evolving every day and where we need to be playing in the future
  • Be an active member in the brainstorm process to imagine and develop new tactics and strategies

Who you will be…

  • 1-2 years of digital and social media experience in an agency setting, healthcare experience is a plus
  • Community management and content creation experience; paid experience preferred
  • Self-starter who is hungry to take ownership of projects and build impeccable client relationship skills
  • Experience with all aspects social and how it works within integrated communications
  • Amazing flexibility and someone who thrives in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment
  • You are imaginative and inventive and will help us to reach new heights
  • Ability to take ownership of a program and work with autonomy
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel as well as social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram)
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills along with strong attention to detail
  • Experience working in and contributing to an inclusive and collaborative environment
  • Ability to push the envelope and think outside of the box

*The job description is a summary of typical job functions and is not an exhaustive list of possible duties. The jobholder’s responsibilities and duties may differ from those outlined above. Other duties, as assigned, may be part of the job.

Interested? Send your resume and cover letter to Sheila Powers at HR@goodfuse.com. To learn more about us please visit:

Goodfuse does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, age, national origin, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other reason prohibited by law in provision of employment opportunities and benefits.

Download job description pdf.