Kaiser Permanente is preparing a list of 10 agencies to vie for its estimated $30 million national branding assignment.
This is the Oakland, Calif.-based healthcare company's first effort to execute a cohesive image campaign. The winning agency will develop Kaiser's 1998 national advertising and direct response work.
"Advertising and media buying are currently handled at the local level," said Vaughan Acton, Kaiser's vice president of brand management. "Now we want to consolidate our efforts to achieve more effective messaging and reduce costs.
"No image advertising will be handled by our [regional offices] in the future" she added. "However, there will always be campaigns conducted on a regional basis for particular programs or services."
The search is being conducted by Richard Roth Associates, a consultancy based in Chappaqua, N.Y. [Adweek, Sept. 22].
"We are planning for agencies [in the final review] to make their presentations in mid-December," Acton said. "We hope to make a decision very soon after that."
Agencies that have been invited to participate in the pitch include Kovel Kresser & Partners, Santa Monica, Calif.; GSD&M, Austin, Texas; and Angotti Thomas Hedge, New York. Kovel Kresser is currently responsible for Kaiser advertising in California and other Western states. Most media duties for Kaiser are handled by Western International Media, Los Angeles.
"Agencies that have worked--or are currently working--with Kaiser Permanente at the regional level are certainly invited to participate," Acton said. "However, every agency on our final list for this assignment must meet very strict criteria."
Ideal contenders, according to Acton, are "skilled brand-builders who have actually built a brand that stands out in its category." Agencies must also have "experience with regional needs and are capable of executing an emotional sell," she said.