CareGroup Taps Milwaukee Shop

BVK/McDonald’s size and healthcare experience helped it vault past two Northeast shops for CareGroup Healthcare System’s $3-4 million account, the company’s head marketer said.

The Milwaukee agency, the largest among the finalists, beat out Cronin & Co. in Glastonbury, Conn., and MRA, Syracuse, N.Y., for the business. Pile and Co., the consulting firm in Boston, oversaw the competition.

BKV’s experience includes work for numerous health-related clients, including Adventist Health System and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

Among BVK’s attributes was the ability to assign different creative teams to Boston-based CareGroup’s different hospitals, to give each a different voice and distinct position in the market, said Lou Woolf, senior vice president of system development and communications for the client.

CareGroup expects to report a $70 million operating loss this year. Its financial woes have sparked talk of consolidating operations, possibly with rival Partners HealthCare, which is chaired by Jack Connors, chief executive of Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, which crafts Partners’ advertising.

The incumbent on CareGroup’s account was Haggman in Manchester, Mass., which did not participate in the review.

“We’re happy for them and wish them luck,” said Haggman official Emily Haggman, who said no layoffs or other measures will be taken at her 15 person agency in light of CareGroup’s departure.