Frankel Healthier Through CDC

Frankel will be the lead agency in the Publicis Groupe consortium tapped to handle a $125 million effort to shape up preteens.

The Chicago shop put together what director of client services Kathy Hartman called a “holistic approach” for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention re view. The Publicis alliance of Frankel, Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis Dialog bested a group led by DDB Seattle for the government contract.

Frankel will handle event marketing, including a national tour, on line and grass-roots initiatives in the CDC’s campaign to promote healthy lifestyles to “tweens,” youth between the ages of nine and 13. It’s a group, researchers claim, that is increasingly sedentary and overweight.

Saatchi in New York will handle creative advertising, while Publicis Dialog, also New York, will lead public-relations efforts.

Minority advertising will be handled by A Partnership in New York, an Asian American shop, and Garcia LKS 360, a San An tonio-based Hispanic shop. They are not Publicis agencies, and their work is part of a separate contract, although their efforts will be coordinated with those of Publicis.

Frankel took the lead early in the pitch, putting together a single proposal and organizational chart for the Publicis effort. The shop used its experience working with kids and talking to parents for clients such as McDonald’s and Frito-Lay.

Hartman said she saw no conflict in selling both burgers and fit ness. “There are going to be things that are attractive to kids. The job is to teach them how to balance that with a heal thy life style,” she said.

The decision, originally expected on Sept. 15, was delayed as the federal government focused on the crisis triggered by the terrorist attacks.

Unlike anti-tobacco, safe sex or anti-drug advertising, the CDC initiative will encourage behavior. It’s a focus that forced competing agencies to incorporate extensive PR, direct marketing and promotional strategies into their pitches.