Fleishman hired as part of Sleep Council's PR overhaul

WASHINGTON: The Better Sleep Council (BSC) and two of its sister associations emerged from their PR overhaul last week with a new VP of communications, a new AOR, a new public education campaign, and a renewed commitment to public affairs.

WASHINGTON: The Better Sleep Council (BSC) and two of its sister associations emerged from their PR overhaul last week with a new VP of communications, a new AOR, a new public education campaign, and a renewed commitment to public affairs.

The review was spurred by a change in communications leadership following the death of BSC communications director Andrew Herman, who died of cancer in September 2002. All three associations, which include the International Sleep Products Association and the Sleep Products Safety Council, had used Ogilvy PR as their agency of record for nearly a decade, but put the business back up for bid following Herman's death.

Fleishman-Hillard emerged as the agency of choice last week. Chief among its duties will be a $500,000-a-year public education campaign aimed at increasing the frequency with which Americans purchase mattresses.

"Our goal in the campaign is to help consumers understand the role mattresses play in the quality of their sleep and the quality of life," said president Dick Doyle. One idea under consideration, he added, is tying the purchase of bedding to milestones in a person's life, such as graduating from college or getting married.

Coming on board as new VP of communications for all three associations is Nancy Blatt, previously director of public information at the nonprofit Water Environment Federation.

Among the other objectives decided upon following the review is a new emphasis on public affairs. "We are focusing on bedroom safety, and Fleishman will be supporting our efforts to work more closely with the California Bureau of Home Furnishings," said Doyle, referring to the regulatory body responsible for bedding safety.

The BSC led a successful campaign in the 1970s to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking in bed, and Doyle expressed an interest in renewing that effort with a greater focus on the dangers children face in mattress fires.

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