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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."

About HealthNow New York Inc.

HealthNow New York Inc. is one of New York State’s leading health care companies, providing quality health care and innovative solutions for more than 836,000 members. Headquartered in Buffalo, NY, HealthNow does business as BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, BlueShield of Northeastern New York, HealthNow New York and Brokerage Concepts Inc. (BCI). In 2008, company revenues grew to nearly $2.27 billion.

About Mower

Mower is a digitally integrated independent marketing, advertising and public relations agency with professionals in New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, N.C., Cincinnati, and Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and Syracuse, N.Y. Mower delivers strategic insights and counsel, digital solutions, smart creative and award-winning results to clients in a wide range of industries and service sectors. It has earned top industry accolades from Clio, Cannes and ANA B2 awards and is the only full-service agency ranked in Ad Age, B2B Marketing, PRWeek and Chief Marketer. Mower is part of two global agency networks—thenetworkone and IPREX—as well as the 4A’s.