Barnes, Catmur and Friends takes ‘more of a backseat’ as Southern Cross Health appoints Contagion

Southern Cross Health Society has appointed Contagion as its lead agency.  

The appointment means Contagion will now help develop and implement Southern Cross’ marketing strategy, creative, social and media work.

Southern Cross Health society head of product and marketing Chris Watney says that Contagion will now be responsible for the day-to-day agency tasks and that Barnes, Catmur & Friends (the lead creative agency for the last eight years) “would be taking more of a backseat.”

Watney says this shift has been made because Southern Cross has shifted its focus to the digital side of the business.    

“In [this] day and age digital can’t be a standalone strategy,” Watney says. “We needed an agency that can promote our expertise and knowledge seamlessly across multiple channels, backed by great insight and digital know-how. Contagion’s mix of strategic insight, content, media and creative talent means [Contagion managing partner] Dean [Taylor] and his team are the right partners to help bring this to life.”

Watney added that while Southern Cross Health was focusing more on the digital side of the business, he would still rely on Barnes, Catmur and Friends to develop brand campaigns in much the same way as they have until now (although there would likely be less of this kind of work).   

In addition to working with Barnes Catmur, Southern Cross also did smaller projects with Twenty and Zoo Melbourne last year. And Watney left the door open to potentially continuing to work with other agencies on smaller specialist projects in the future.    

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