BHWG triumphant in Bupa direct fight

- Barraclough Hall Woolston Gray has emerged triumphant in the winner-takes-all contest to handle all of Bupa's direct marketing account.

- Barraclough Hall Woolston Gray has emerged triumphant in the winner-takes-all contest to handle all of Bupa's direct marketing account.

The agency pitched against WWAV Rapp Collins and Wunderman Cato Johnson -- the incumbent on Bupa's customer retention business -- for the task. The review was brought about through the recent termination by the private healthcare company of its relationship with Ogilvy & Mather, and its direct marketing agency OgilvyOne.

BUPA has recently undergone an extensive internal restructure, with the arrival of new chief executive, Val Gooding, and marketing director, Pat Stafford, and the formation of five new business units. BHWG will concentrate on creating direct marketing programmes for three of Bupa's business units: membership; hospitals and screening and care services.

Elaine Greenwood, Bupa's membership marketing director, said: "Centralising the customer acquisition and customer retention parts of the business in to one agency was entirely deliberate. There will still be a clear above-the-line advertising programme for the brand, but the individual business units need a very clear and consistent below-the-line strategy. BHWG has a very good reputation for creativity and looking at the strategic elements that are needed in a brief such as this."

"BHWG is delighted to have been appointed to work on one of the world's most famous healthcare brands," said Simon Hall, the chief executive of BHWG. "We have always taken pride in how effective BHWG can be and the positive contribution we can make to a client's bottom line."

The centralisation into BHWG ends its 16-month relationship with WCJ. The agency's managing director, Richard Bagnall-Smith, commented: "The new client team wanted their own new set of agencies. It's annoying when this happens, but there isn't much you can do about it. However the account has been on hold for over a year, so it won't affect us materially."

The search for an above-the-line advertising agency and media agency for BUPA is still in progress. On the media front, MindShare lost the business, which it had held through O&M's former media operation, the Network . It is understood that BUPA are currently contacting a long list of seven or eight London shops with the intention of whittling this down to a shortlist of three. It is hoped to make an appointment early in the new year.





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