HealthNow Selects EMA as Advertising Agency of Record

HealthNow New York Inc., the Buffalo, N.Y.-based parent company of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and BlueShield of Northeastern New York, today announced its selection of Eric Mower and Associates www.mower.com (EMA) as advertising agency of record.

HealthNow solicited national and regional agencies in a competitive, juried process that lasted four months and started with 11 agencies. Those were cut to five for formal capabilities presentations and then to three finalists presenting advertising concepts.

EMA’s Buffalo office will provide integrated communications support including advertising, marketing and public relations strategy as the insurer places greater importance on member/employer group communications as health care reform continues to unfold.

"We’re delighted that at the end of an extremely competitive process that included some of the biggest names in the ad business, HealthNow was able to partner with Eric Mower and Associates for its marketing communications needs," said Alphonso O’Neil-White, HealthNow’s president/CEO. "While we did not set out with geographical constraints or preferences, we feel it was a pleasant bonus to keep the work close to home."

EMA, with capitalized billings of $220 million in 2009, also has offices in Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany, N.Y.; Atlanta; Charlotte; Sarasota, Fla.; and Los Angeles with a total staff of 250.

An integrated marketing communications agency, EMA is the only agency recognized by leading industry publications as one of the top agencies in advertising, public relations, business-to-business marketing and promotions. In 2009, PROMO Magazine ranked EMA number eight among the top retail agencies in the United States.

"EMA is honored to collaborate with such a well-respected health insurance company whose brands bring so much to Buffalo and upstate New York," Douglas C. Bean, managing partner of EMA in Buffalo. "We worked extremely hard to demonstrate the quality of our work and we’re delighted that HealthNow put its trust in our team and the agency. We’re also proud that HealthNow’s choice positively influences the Buffalo and upstate economies."

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