Dallas Hospital Unifies Account

Richards/Gravelle, an affiliate of The Richards Group, has won the approximately $2 million consolidated account of Children’s Medical Center.

The Dallas-based hospital put its account into review one month ago to combine its public relations and marketing components.

“From a management point of view it became too unwieldy to handle two agencies,” said Betsy MacKay, director of public relations and marketing at Children’s Medical Center.

Five shops contested the account, including incumbent Marc USA/Dallas; The Focus Agency and Bozell Kamstra Texas, both in Irving, Texas; and an undisclosed contender. The review brought together several familiar faces. All of the agencies have executives who formerly worked on the account with the incumbent. Richards/Gravelle has handled the hospital’s public relations for five years.

“There is a lot of talent in Dallas and we were flattered that so much of it wanted to work for us,” said MacKay. “Richards/Gravelle has proven over time that they have [the] depth and brain trust to handle the complexity of this account. They also have the experience of handling accounts similar to ours.”

“It is a small account with a high impact in the North Texas market,” added MacKay. “The value of effort put in by Richards/Gravelle will be greater than clients who pay 10 times as much money because Stan Richards and David Gravelle support our mission. Philosophically, we are well matched.”

“We are thrilled to have won this account,” said agency principal David Gravelle. “Some things you do for money, some things you do because it is a wonderful thing to do. The Children’s Medical Center is a wonderful thing to do. As a parent, I have first-hand appreciation of the work they do.”

Marc USA will complete a fall seat-belt safety campaign for CMC. The medical center is one of several client losses for the shop since its predecessor, Hadeler Sullivan & Law, merged with Marc/LMS last year.

“Part of the [client] turnover was planned and part was unplanned,” HS&P chairman and chief executive David Hadeler said, pointing to last year’s $2-3 million win of the Bennigan’s restaurant promotions business. “But we now have a new focus, a new agency.”

“We loved every minute we worked on [the CMC] account,” Hadeler added. “It was a labor of love for us.”