Saatchi In Line to Land CDC Assignment

NEW YORK–Saatchi & Saatchi has been selected to handle ad duties on a new assignment from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sources said today. Billings are estimated at $125 million over one year.

The New York agency, which partnered with fellow Publicis Groupe shops Zenith Media, Frankel and Publicis Dialog, is said to have bested a team led by DDB Seattle, according to sources. Frankel, a direct marketing shop, is based in Chicago; Publicis Dialog, a public relations specialist, and media buyer Zenith Media, are in New York. The Atlanta-based client, which declined comment, is expected to formally announce a winner tomorrow.

The selection was delayed as the federal government focused on the crisis created by the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center [Adweek, Sept. 24], but a CDC administrator Michael Greenwell, said the initiative is scheduled to move forward as planned.

The agencies either declined comment or could not be reached. The assignment involves a year-long advertising and promotional campaign designed to encourage healthy behaviors like exercise and good eating habits among so-called “tweens,” youth between the ages of 9 and 13.