Premera has awarded WhiteRunkle Associates of Spokane a significantly greater share of its advertising business.
The long-timer provider of service to Medical Service Corp. of Eastern Washington also will manage the accounts of Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska and Health Plus.
Premera is the holding company for all three, as well as LifeWise, its Oregon and Idaho brand.
Portland-based Sullivan Pattison Clevenger will handle the LifeWise account.
WhiteRunkle President Jack White said the Blue Cross and Health Plus accounts had been serviced by a Seattle agency, The Evans Technology Group.
Evans and Howard Advertising of San Diego and Rosen/Brown of Portland bid on the new contracts along with RunkleWhite and Sullivan Pattison Clevenger, White said.
Patti Turnbull said the accounts, once managed be several agencies, were consolidated in order to make them more focused and less costly.
“It was a tough decision, but these agencies demonstrated a clear knowledge of Premera and where we intend to take the company and its brands in the future,” she said.
MSC was WhiteRunkle’s first client when the firm opened in 1980.
White said extensive preparation probably tipped the choice in favor of the Spokane firm, which will open a two-person office in Kirkland to service the new accounts.
The company also will add six to its Spokane staff by year-end, he said, bringing the total to 40.
Billings for 1997 should reach $19 million, up from $13.2 million last year, White said, adding that Washington Water Power Co., the Spokane Transit Authority and AT&T; Wireless are the company’s other major clients.