Medical Competition

A year after CareGroup Healthcare System assigned its advertising business to Milwaukee’s BVK, at least one member hospital has placed its account in review—and more units may follow, sources said

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston was identified by sources as being in play with a budget in the $1-2 million range. Beth Israel and other CareGroup facilities have been unimpressed with BVK’s creative efforts, and it is possible that several client hospitals will join the search, sources said.

Beth Israel officials did not return calls. Pile and Co. in Boston, hired to oversee the review, referred questions to CareGroup.

CareGroup representative Bill Schaller confirmed that Pile has been retained, but he declined to say which of the member hospitals are involved.

Midsized agencies, mainly in New England, with some healthcare expertise have been contacted by Pile, sources said.

Pile oversaw last year’s competition in which BVK was hired, supplanting long-time incumbent Haggman of Manchester, Mass., which chose not to participate. CareGroup at the time was said to have budgeted up to $4 million annually for advertising.

BVK’s efforts thus far have touted various hospital services, such as pediatric care or emergency medicine, but have included no overall image work for either CareGroup or any of its members.

Other members of the CareGroup partnership are Mt. Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Mass.; New England Baptist Hospital, Boston; Deaconess-Glover Hospital, Needham, Mass.; Deaconess-Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, Mass.; and Waltham Deaconess Medical Center, Waltham, Mass.