NEW YORK Kaiser Permanente has launched a search to find an agency to handle its $40 million ad account, the company has confirmed.
Consultancy Brandstream Partners in New York, which has worked with the client for a year on brand strategy, is overseeing the process.
The not-for-profit healthcare company in Oakland, Calif., spent $10 million on image ads in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, and about the same amount through August of this year. The company said the $40 million figure constitutes a doubling of current spending levels.
Kaiser works with various agencies on public relations, interactive marketing and other chores, but at present has no lead ad agency.
The document sent to shops by Brandstream states that the prospective client has "by any measure, a sizable budget with specific communications requirements that could include a new image campaign, direct, PR, etc."
With eight million members, Kaiser is among the largest health maintenance companies in the U.S. It does business in nine states and the District of Columbia.
—with David Gianatasio
This story updates an item posted earlier today with revised billings.