DMC Makes Run at a New Shop

System Says Its Budget Will Bulge to $9 Mil.
DETROIT-The Detroit Medical Center plans to significantly increase its ad budget as part of an effort to boost public awareness of its “new and improved” healthcare system, a representative said.
DMC and Doner, Southfield, Mich., severed their five-year relationship in late April. Both client and agency say they were the first to end the relationship. Doner said it dropped the account because DMC’s financial difficulties led the hospital group to dramatically scale back its marketing budget [Adweek, May 3].
But DMC representative Julie Nemeth said a letter was sent to Doner before the resignation dropping the agency because it “was not able to provide us with the time and attention we need.”
The client plans a search for a new shop, but has not yet sent out a request for proposals.
DMC’s spending on measured media, which had been as high as $3 million several years ago, was just $300,000 in 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Although the budget is still being finalized, spending is expected to increase to about $9 million, Nemeth said. A reorganization team is helping DMC resolve its financial problems, she said. “We want to come out … with a whole new look,” she said.
One of the new agency’s charges will be to develop a new logo for the healthcare system, Nemeth said. Print and broadcast advertising is anticipated, she said.
The system’s 1998 audit indicated the company lost about $106 million last year. Executives are estimating 1999 losses will be $53 million.
-Tanya Irwi