Caritas Picks Bennett + Dunne

Little-known Bennett + Dunne Integrated Marketing has added advertising chores for Caritas Christi Health Care System.

Despite a modest budget estimated at slightly more than $1 million annually, Caritas Christi provides the seven-person agency with a high-profile local creative platform.

“We’ve worked with them on a project basis,” said Doug Bennett, pres ident of Bennett + Dunne, Framingham, Mass. “They recently put us on retainer.”

The 2-year-old agency will now have a more active role in Caritas’ branding strategy. The agency is expected to develop radio, print and direct-mail campaigns for the Boston-based healthcare company, according to Bennett.

Caritas’ previous lead agency was Boston’s Kelley Habib John. Caritas had been one of KHJ’s showcases, though, and client and agency hadn’t worked together on new ads for nearly a year.

Even so, KHJ’s work for Caritas can still be seen on the Tri vision board at Bos ton’s Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox. Copy on that execution states, “Everything except pennant fever.” Client and agency parted on amicable terms, said KHJ creative director Greg John. Bennett + Dunne had worked with the client on projects throughout Caritas’ five-year relationship with KHJ, which also recently parted with Salem Five Cents Savings Bank, another longtime client.

Consisting of five regional hospitals, Caritas is New England’s largest Catholic healthcare system and the third-largest healthcare system in the Northeast.