American Healthways Calls Hill, Holliday for Brand Effort

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American Healthways Inc., a disease management firm, named Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos Inc.'s New York office to handle its first integrated brand campaign.

Billings were not disclosed, nor was the number of agencies that pitched. The incumbent was Lewis Communications.

"The mandate is to differentiate American Healthways from their competition," said Norman Sherman, executive vice president and director of healthcare at Hill, Holliday. "Direct marketing will enable us to support the business development effort while enhancing that differentiation."

The agency will use direct mail and other, non-traditional direct marketing as well as print and promotions.

American Healthways, Nashville, TN, works with hospitals, health plans and physicians to improve patient health and the care experience. It serves more than 700,000 health plan members and nearly 150,000 physicians. Its call centers staffed by nurses and dietitians develop relationships with members.

Sherman hopes the marketing widens the gap between American Healthways and its competitors.

"The disease management industry is very young, and there are few generally accepted standards," he said. "As such, many of our competitors are copycats claiming to do what American Healthways does. American Healthways needs to avoid getting caught up in this game and establish itself clearly as the leader in the business."

With American Healthways, Hill, Holliday wraps up a good year. Its Boston office gained drugstore chain CVS Corp.'s general advertising and media account, continuing work on the company's loyalty program. It also created a 2002 Super Bowl XXXVI spot for Anheuser-Busch Cos. and is now on the brewer's agency roster.

In New York, the agency won advertising duties for Radiancy, the world's leading maker of light-based cosmetic dermatology devices.

"Both Radiancy and American Healthways make important use of direct marketing in addition to general advertising," Sherman said. "This is consistent with our belief that in healthcare, it's critically important to connect on a one-to-one basis with prospects and patients, recognizing their very unique needs and wants."


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