Kaiser To Put $20 Mil. Direct Duties In Play

NEW YORK-Kaiser Permanente, the health insurance company seeking an agency to develop a national image campaign, is planning to conduct a review to consolidate nearly $20 million in direct marketing chores at a single shop.
Consultant Richard Roth of Richard Roth Associates in Chappaqua, N.Y., said the agency that wins the corporate image assignment will be considered for the direct account should it have the necessary capabilities. Currently, numerous shops work for the Oakland, Calif.-based company in the direct arena. “There is a separate direct budget for which a search will be conducted,” Roth confirmed.
In addition, “there will likely be a review for media buying,” said a source. Most of Kaiser’s media needs are handled by Western International Media in Los Angeles. Media planning chores are expected to be handled by the winning agency in the image review. The client has not yet started looking for a media buying agency.
Nine agencies are in the running for the $30 million image assignment. They are: Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, Grey Advertising and N.W. Ayer & Partners, all New York; GSD&M, Austin, Texas; Mullen, Wenham, Mass; Campbell-Ewald Advertising, Warren, Mich.; Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas; and Citron Haligman Bedecarrƒ and Goldberg Moser O’Neill, both San Francisco.
Angotti, Thomas, Hedge in New York was contacted, sources said, but has been eliminated. Kovel Kresser & Partners, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based shop that handles Kaiser’s ads in the West, was also cut.
Roth would neither confirm nor deny the shops in contention. “We selected agencies that all have very strong strategic and branding credentials,” he said. He added that meetings with 6-8 remaining contenders will be held during the weeks of Nov. 10 and 17. Three finalists will make presentations in early January, with a decision expected later that month.
Regional Kaiser offices may still use local agencies for specific promotional campaigns.