Blues Moves to Next Round

New England Contenders Battle for Health Insurer
BOSTON–Semifinalists have emerged in the review for the $4.5-6 million ad account of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
In contention are: Ingalls, Boston; Mintz & Hoke, Avon, Conn.; Barradas Yeaton & Wold, Portsmouth, N.H.; and the teams of Partners & Simons, Boston, with Pro Media, Natick, Mass., and Davis & Goransson with Western International Media, both Boston.
The competitors will be asked to make noncreative presentations, and finalists will be named in mid-February, said client representative Noreen Young. A decision is due at the end of next month, she said.
The review is being run by Blue Cross senior vice president of marketing, sales and product management Pat Hughes, who has assumed ad duties from executive vice president Peter Meade. Blue Cross chairman William Van Faasen will have the final say on which shop is hired, Young said.
Ingalls and Barradas have handled Blue Cross assignments. Barradas currently works for Blue Cross in New Hampshire. Ingalls, the largest shop in the pitch, handled print projects for the Massachusetts affiliate two years ago. Those ads sought to reassure consumers that Blue Cross would not file for bankruptcy protection following controversial public comments made by Van Faasen.
Mintz & Hoke has worked with Pilgrim Health Care, Kaiser Permanente and ConnectiCare. Partners & Simons currently handles Emerson Hospital.
Four-person Davis & Goransson has no healthcare expertise but is working on the Blue Cross pitch in conjunction with Minneapolis-based consultant Bill Donnelly, who has held posts with BBDO and Fallon McElligott and has worked on accounts such as MedCenters Health Plan in the Midwest and Av-Med Health Plans in Florida. Donnelly is helping the boutique draw up a strategic proposal, said agency partner Doug Goransson.
Blue Cross officials initially said between six and eight shops were contacted [Adweek, Jan. 11] following its split with Holland Mark Martin Edmund, Boston.