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Fallon Health Makes Agency Changes

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BOSTON Fallon Community Health Plan has shifted creative and media chores on its ad account to Mechanica and Allen & Gerritsen following a review.

Connelly Partners in Boston was FCHP's lead agency for five years.

All three shops are independently owned.

The client spent slightly more than $2 million in measured media last year after spending about $3 million in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Pat Hughes, FCHP's division president of health plan operations, said Mechanica's ability to execute across multiple media fronts led to the agency's engagement.

Scott Karambis, managing partner at Mechanica, said the shop would help FCHP "take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the marketplace."

Connelly's last major push for FCHP came in May 2007, when the agency employed humor to underscore "The power of Fallon Community Health Plan." That work used the plan's membership card as a symbol of strength. Each time characters in the ads used the card (to ward off a vicious barking dog, for example), they come out on top. One TV spot included a spoof of the '70s baseball comedy The Bad News Bears, while another showed three nerds who attempt to use the card as a totem of power in a fantasy role-playing game.

The goal was to establish the card as an icon that would help FCHP stand out from national and local rivals such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harvard Community Health Plan and Tufts Health Plan.

Mechanica is a three-year-old shop in Newburyport, Mass., that employs about 40 staffers. The shop has worked for Blockbuster, MTV and Ticketmaster, among others. The agency attempts to create highly integrated cross-media "brand experiences" for clients.

A&G in Watertown, Mass., has long been one of the region's largest independents and handles a mix of business and consumer clients for online and offline assignments.