Oakwood and Periscope Part After 7 Months

Oakwood Healthcare System is expected to name a new agency of record in the next several weeks for its $3 million account.
The regional healthcare provider, headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., completed a lengthy review in February by naming Periscope Marketing Communications in Minneapolis as its new agency. The two parted ways in September, and Periscope decided not to participate in the ensuing review, according to agency president Jeff Wright.
Two Detroit-area agencies are finalists for the account, and a decision is expected shortly, according to Audrey Sommers, Oakwood’s supervisor of media relations and special events.
Prior to choosing Periscope, Oakwood had been with The Doyle Group in Southfield, Mich., for 10 years.
Sommers would not comment on the reasons for the split with Periscope. There has been some turnover in Oakwood’s marketing department, and Tracy Polasek, the company’s marketing manager who headed the last review, has taken a temporary leave of absence. Other sources indicated a lack of financial commitment to advertising by the healthcare provider.
Oakwood operates several hospitals and health centers and services over 1 million health plan members in southeastern Michigan.
When Periscope was hired, Oakwood officials said the agency’s main objective would be to provide the healthcare system with a new brand identity over the next three years.
Polasek said during the last review that it was important to have an agency with strong direct mail capabilities. Oakwood was also looking for direction in developing a health maintenance organization to target Medicare patients.
Polasek could not be reached for comment last week.
Wright said Periscope completed mainly tactical rather than image-building work for Oakwood during their short relationship, including some print and outdoor ads.