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MetroWest Moves to KPC/Christopher Thomas

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Trading on its experience in the medical sector, KPC/ Christopher Thomas has added advertising chores for the MetroWest Medical Center.

The client is a suburban healthcare system comprising Union Hospital of Framingham, Mass., and Leonard Morse Hospital, Natick, Mass. The Framingham-based client is owned by Tenet HealthSystem.

The Boston shop won the business after a review of undisclosed agencies, according to KPC/Christopher Thomas president Leo Rice. Previously, the MetroWest account was handled by various small shops on a project basis, a client representative said.

Rice pegged spending at slightly less than $1 million for a highly targeted regional campaign in Boston's western suburbs. MetroWest is aiming to build its market share and compete more successfully against numerous better-known regional rivals. Strengthening its relationships with physicians and area residents is a top priority. Print, radio, direct mail and collateral materials will likely be in the mix to help the client achieve those goals, Rice said.

The agency has plenty of niche experience but resigned its most recognizable client in the field—Fallon Healthcare System—last year. Fallon is now handled by RDW Group in Providence, R.I.

"[MetroWest] really plays to our strengths," said Rice, given the shop's long tenure on Fallon and with clients such as New England Medical Center and Beverly Hospital.

The win helps KPC/Christopher Thomas get off to a good start in 2002. The agency, along with numerous others locally and nationwide, struggled through 2001.

The MetroWest win is also the first notable piece of new business for the agency since its purchase last year by St. Louis-based Kupper Parker Commun ications. The deal allowed the agency to gain a larger network of resources, including public relations and Web capabilities. At the time, terms of the deal were not disclosed [Adweek, Feb. 19, 2001].

Twenty-six-year-old Christopher Thomas also has offices in Stamford, Conn., and Melville, N.Y.