Three agencies last week were named finalists for Beverly Hospital's advertising account.
Duffy & Shanley in Providence, R.I., Haggman of Manchester, Mass., and Kelliher Samets Volk in Boston moved forward. Cronin/Wallwork Curry and Fort Franklin, both in Boston, did not advance.
The hospital's account has been with KPC/Christopher Thomas for three years; its impending departure will not result in cuts to the agency's 15-person staff, according to Leo Rice, president of the shop's Boston office.
Spending has not been disclosed, but sources estimated the budget at $500,000-1 million. Consultants with Pile and Co. in Boston are overseeing the search.
Finalists will present strategies to help position the hospital as a full-service medical center. The client wants to compete against better-known facilities in Boston in terms of the quality of its staff and the range of services from maternity and pediatrics to cardiology and long-term care. Presentations are set for the first week of October.
Despite the modest budget, more than a dozen agencies, including some located outside New England, expressed interest in pitching the account, sources said. The continued economic slump, combined with the fact that the Beverly, Mass., hospital is viewed as "safe" in terms of long-term budgeting and stability, led to the heightened level of interest, sources said.
The three remaining shops have considerable category experience. Duffy & Shanley has worked for Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island and United Healthcare, Haggman for the Care New England hospital system and KSV for Fletcher Allen Heath Care and Medical Center Hospital of Vermont.