Freuds on alert as Government plans Change4Life PR shake-up

Freud Communications has been placed on alert as the Government considers bringing in a new PR agency to promote its flagship anti-obesity drive, Change4Life.

Anti-obesity: Change4Life campaign out to pitch
Anti-obesity: Change4Life campaign out to pitch

The brief originally handed to Freuds in 2008 was aimed at encouraging young families to eat more healthily.

The business is currently worth  between £40,000 and £45,000 per month to Freuds.

A Department of Health spokeswoman declined to say whether the fees would be reduced, but confirmed the brief was going out to pitch.

The spokeswoman said: ’The department's contract for Change4Life with Freud Communications ends as of the end of March 2011. In accordance with government procurement rules, we are putting the contract up for re-tender.’

The COI is currently handling the pitch process.

The brief is currently at pre-qualification question stage. The contract is for six months and the DH anticipates that the pitch process will be completed before the end of March.
 
At the end of the six month contract period, the DH will be reviewing its agency contracts to bring them in line with the new Public Health Social Marketing Strategy.

One agency insider suggested that the brief is for a ’specific summer-focused campaign’.
 
A Freud insider said: ‘we are not aware of any changes that are likely to be made in terms of scope or budget.’ The agency is planning to re-pitch for the brief.
 
Freud was originally appointed in July 2008 for six months, with an option  of two further years, which were followed through. Last July, health secretary Andrew Lansley called on the private sector to fund the campaign.
 
Last November, the DH stated that more than a million mums claim to have attempted to change their children's behaviour as a result of Change4Life.
 
This is the first major brief issued by the COI for some time. Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude is this week considering recommendations on the further existence of the COI.

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