Exeter Health Swaps Shops Again, Taps Allen & Gerritsen After Review

For the third time in little more than a year, Exeter Health Resources has chosen a new agency.
Allen & Gerritsen in Watertown, Mass., has picked up the ad account of the Exeter, N.H.-based healthcare client following an informal review of undisclosed agencies.
Billings were not disclosed. A year ago, when Exeter tapped BBK in Newton, Mass., media spending was estimated at $1 million. Prior to that, the account had been with Partners & Simons in Boston.
Allen & Gerritsen is charged with creating print ads, direct mail pieces and radio spots promoting Exeter Hospital and its Health Resources network of 100 physicians and 1,000 healthcare professionals. The company provides various health and wellness services throughout New Hampshire.
Allen & Gerritsen will initially promote Exeter’s Synergy Health & Fitness Center, which opened earlier this year. Ads will break in the summer.
BBK developed a grand-opening campaign for Synergy that included print ads that ran in The Boston Globe and newspapers in the Portsmouth, N.H., area. One headline read, “Good news for all of you who want a health club that isn’t just filled with dumbbells.” The effort stressed both fitness benefits and pricing.
BBK president Joan Bachenheimer said her shop was hired specifically to introduce Synergy and believed the account was pulled in-house shortly thereafter. BBK did not participate in the most recent review, Bachenheimer said.
Paul Allen, president of Allen & Gerritsen, said his agency was selected because Exeter wishes to merge efforts for Synergy, Exeter Hospital and related services under a single theme. “[The client is] not just promoting a health club anymore . . . It’s tying [everything] under a brand identity,” and it needed a shop with more resources, Allen said.
In a statement, Exeter Health chief marketing officer Will Coleburn cited Allen & Gerritsen’s strategic acumen and creative product as motivation for the assignment.
According to sources, the Exeter account has bounced around due to differences between the client and its agencies regarding compensation and creative direction.
Best known for handling technology and industrial accounts, Allen & Gerritsen does have experience in the healthcare arena. Nearly two years ago, the 50-person agency was awarded the account of Chiron Diagnostics, a large medical products company in California. –with Sarah Jone