HMO Taps Boston Shop

HealthFirst, a not-for-profit managed healthcare provider, has selected the direct marketing unit of Greenberg Seronick O’Leary & Partners to handle its integrated account, following a review.
The Boston shop beat several undisclosed contenders in New York and New England to win the business.
Billings for the New York-based client are $2 million through year’s end but expected to increase to $5-8 million in 1999, said David Sarlitto, the Greenberg Seronick vice president who oversees the agency’s direct marketing group.
A print and direct mail campaign, targeting Medicare recipients in Queens and Nassau counties in New York, will break in four to six weeks, Sarlitto said. “The overall purpose is to drive Medicare recipients to the HealthFirst managed care business [and to] brand [the client] at the same time,” he said.
“The focus will be direct,” however, the approach will be integrated and include input from the 30-person agency’s mainstream advertising and media units, he said.
Greenberg Seronick will also handle media buying. Print ads will run in The New York Times, The New York Post, Newsday and various community newspapers, as well as Asian- and Hispanic-language publications.
The campaign will eventually expand throughout the New York metropolitan area, with broadcast executions likely added to the mix, he said. It is the client’s first significant ad push, Sarlitto said.
Greenberg Seronick was chosen because the shop “offered us the best mix of strategic thinking, direct response marketing and creative capability,” David Henderson, senior vice president of sales and marketing at HealthFirst, said in a statement.
Henderson did not identify the other contenders; Sarlitto said about five shops were involved. The agency’s experience with former client HealthSource and Sarlitto’s freelance work for Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York were also factors in its favor, Sarlitto said.