Donovan Group in Northborough, Mass., and Gearon Hoffman in Boston are duking it out for the estimated $1 million ad account of University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care, sources confirmed last week.
The client is the result of a merger in April between two former rival hospitals: UMass Medical Center and Memorial Hospital, both in Worcester, Mass.
UMass Memorial officials could not be reached for comment at press time. A final decision is expected this week, according to sources.
Currently working with an unnamed design firm to produce an identity for the newly merged hospital, the client will use its new advertising agency to develop a positioning in print ads, sources said.
Gearon Hoffman and Donovan Group were selected from a group of four agencies following a round of capabilities presentations. Keiler & Co. in Farmington, Conn., and RDW Group in Providence, R.I., were the two agencies eliminated.
RDW has done print advertising for UMass Medical Center for the past two years, with the responsibilities being shouldered equally by its Providence office and DuBois Patch & Co., its Worcester-based agency.
RDW vice president Patti Horan Doyle called the UMass Medical Center account a "shared effort," with creative work typically being generated in Providence and the account planning coming out of Worcester.
Keiler has worked for Memorial Hospital from its Farmington location.
Gearon Hoffman's healthcare experience includes Tufts Health Plan, while Donovan Group has serviced small, local hospitals in the past, agency officials said.
UMass Memorial is the largest healthcare network in central Massachusetts. The not-for-profit entity boasts $640 million in revenue, has more than 700 beds and employs some 7,500 staffers.