Making a pitch for national recognition

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by Robert C. Powell

I’ve got good news. This issue won’t save you money on your car insurance, but you’ll find out that the people who crafted that pitch work just down the street.

In fact, the Richmond-based Martin Agency has created two of the most recognizable icons in advertising, the chatty gecko and oversensitive caveman, in handling Geico’s car insurance account. Now, it’s ready to remake the image of America’s biggest and most vilified retailer, Wal-Mart.

In our cover story, Richmond writer Christina Couch explains how The Martin Agency and other Virginia firms are taking advantage of a new era in advertising in which top creative work is coming from places other than the traditional industry power bases in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

While the Adcenter is supplying the next generation of advertising executives, Virginia medical schools are training its new doctors. But there is growing concern that the supply of doctors and other health-care professionals will not keep up with demand. Fredericksburg writer Marjolijn Bijlefeld reports that communities and hospitals across Virginia are offering a wide variety of incentives to attract doctors and nurses.

Bijlefeld and freelancer Robert Burke also note that, as medicine becomes more complex, an increasing number of doctors are affiliating with a health system or large corporate groups rather than going it alone.

Another story by Burke in this issue reports that a telecommunications battle is brewing over the old cooper line telephone network. Verizon has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to drop regulations requiring it to share its network with competitors. The result, competitors say, could be higher rates for customers.
The November issue also features our annual list of Super CPAs. The list of 372 top professionals is compiled from the votes of their peers in 12 categories. The section also looks at what CPAs are doing to encourage more students to go into the profession.

So scanning this issue should bring you up to speed on a wide range of trends. It’s so easy, a you-know-who could do it. (We wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings.)

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