Doner Resigns Detroit Medical

Agency Cites Client’s Shrinking Ad Budget
DETROIT-Doner has resigned its Detroit Medical Center account, ending a five-year relationship with the hospital conglomerate.
The agency dropped the account because of DMC’s financial difficulties, which have led the hospital group to dramatically scale back its marketing and advertising budget, said Alan Kalter, chairman and chief executive officer of the Southfield, Mich.-based agency.
“We wish the DMC a speedy recovery from its current problems, but as long as it cannot maintain an adequate level of marketing activity, we believe it is best for both Doner and the DMC to move on,” Kalter said.
DMC’s spending-which at one point was about $3 million-has dropped significantly. The hospital system spent just $300,000 in measured media in 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The system’s recently released 1998 audit indicated the company lost about $106 million last year, double the shortfall that had been projected. Executives are estimating 1999 losses will be $53 million.
Doner launched a campaign for DMC in November focusing on the Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital in Commerce, Mich. That effort included one 30-second TV spot, three print ads and two direct mail pieces. Media buying for the TV spot has been limited.
DMC operates eight hospitals, two nursing centers and more than 130 outpatient facilities. Doner has also created work for DMC’s nationally recognized Karmanos Cancer Institute.
-Tanya Irwin