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
‘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
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.