NEWS: Ketchum and GCI lead the field for EC millions

Ketchum and GCI have emerged as the main winners in a multi-million pound public relations offensive by the European Commission’s education, training and research wings.

Ketchum and GCI have emerged as the main winners in a multi-million

pound public relations offensive by the European Commission’s education,

training and research wings.



Directorate Generals XII, XIII and XXII - responsible for science,

research and development, information, telecommunications, education,

training and youth - and the European Union’s joint research centres

have appointed five agencies to handle a massive publicity campaign over

the next four years.



The project, which has been allocated a maximum budget of ten million

ecus (pounds 8.3 million) a year is the brainchild of the French

commissioner in charge of science, research and training Edith Cresson.



The PR account, which was advertised in the EC’s Official Journal last

July, is divided into six contracts or ‘lots’. The objective is to

publicise the scientific and educational work of the Commission, which

remains largely unknown among ordinary citizens.



‘Mme Cresson wants to have a coherent approach for communications and

information in her services,’ explained DG XXII spokesman Alexandre

Tsolakis.



‘Europeans should learn more about the extraordinary scientific and

research work that is being done.’



Ketchum will assess existing communications and develop a unifying

strategy for the campaign.



GCI, aided by Brussels-based outfit Mediascience, and will handle press

relations across Europe, focusing in particular on contacts with

regional newspapers.



Three other consultancies have been hired to handle publishing, direct

mail, audiovisual and multimedia work. An appointment for the events

management contract has been delayed following confusion over the

wording of the original call for tender.



A revised call was published in January with a deadline of 8 March.



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