MGH Adds Pizza, Weight Loss, Drugstore Billings

MGH Advertising, riding a wave of new franchise wins, has topped $60 million in billings

The Baltimore agency, founded in 1995, recently acquired the accounts of Papa John’s New England and Baltimore co-ops; Weight Watchers Alaska, New Jersey and Washington; and EPIC Pharmacies. The new business amounts to some $4 million in billings.

“We provide a consistency in service that comes through to our clients,” said MGH president Andy Malis. “They’re happy and they’re referring us like crazy.”

Malis said the Papa John’s additions (Providence, R.I.; Hartford-New Haven, Conn.; Springfield, Mass.; and the suburbs of Boston and Baltimore) are the result of the shop’s success with the chain’s co-ops in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

“We came in and presented a reel of great value-added [benefits] we get when we negotiate media buys,” said Malis. “It blew them away. Based on that work, Papa John’s has invited us to nearly every review in the eastern United States.”

MGH’s media buying department, under the direction of Jane Goldstrom, is one of the agency’s particular strengths. Another is consistency, the result of a stable work environment. Staff turnover has remained well under 5 percent annually at the 55-person shop.

“When we started, my partners and I decided to avoid the work-people-to-death/revolving door syndrome,” said Malis. “Our mission is not to be the greatest creative shop or the greatest anything. Our thinking is: ‘The best place to work produces the best work overall.’ “

The new Weight Watchers co-op billings total $1.6 million. MGH currently performs marketing duties for weight loss chain franchises running down the East Coast, through the Deep South and into Texas and Oklahoma.

The agency will now handle media duties for nearly 400 EPIC Pharmacies scattered throughout the mid-Atlantic region.