Team of Wishbone veterans hang out a new shingle

Steven Michaelson
Steven Michaelson

Medical agency Wishbone was acquired years ago, but its leadership team is coming out of retirement with a new venture, dubbed Calcium.

The name is a nod to their old vehicle—bought by Rosetta in 2010 and absorbed into Publicis the following year—and an allusion to the brand building they say a small shop does better.

“It's the big agency experience without the bureaucracy,” says Steven Michaelson, who serves as the shop's CEO alongside his Wishbone partners Renee Mellas (president), Judy Capano (head of strategy) and Todd Neuhaus (creative director). Apart from a few full-time administrative, studio and editorial hands, they're it.

“Everyone in the industry is tired of being forced to work within the network model, where they have to leverage people of that caliber across five or ten brands with a lot of people working under them,” said Michaelson. “We're getting back to the thing that made Wishbone successful before we grew to 80 people and spent our time managing the employees rather than the business.”

The full-service shop, which is based in Midtown Manhattan, has an anchor account with Cardionet, and has just launched a campaign for the company's portfolio of ambulatory ECG monitoring systems. They're also doing project work on Avanir's pseudobulbar effect drug Nuedexta.

“Clients who want to grow with us will get the A Team on their account,” said Michaelson.

B. A. Baracus he's not, but he and his team built a substantial business on that premise once before.

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