Ketchum Picks Up PR for Medicare

BOSTON Omnicom’s Ketchum has been assigned public relations chores for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The Washington, D.C., shop added the business following a review that also included WPP Group’s Ogilvy PR, also in Washington, and Grey Global Group’s GCI Group in New York, a client representative said.

Under the one-year contract, Ketchum’s Washington office will handle media relations and publicity activities to promote Medicare’s toll-free telephone line and Web site, medicare.gov, to beneficiaries and their caregivers. There was no incumbent. Previously, CMMS, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, had handled the assignment through AED, a Washington-based nonprofit.

Ketchum will work closely with CMMS’ ad agency, Interpublic Group’s Campbell-Ewald, along with media agency National Media and research company Public Opinion, during the one-year assignment. CMMS will spend about $25 million on the overall effort, the client said. The PR budget was not disclosed.