The Health Education Authority, a Government-funded health
awareness body, is reviewing its eight-strong roster of PR agencies for
the first time in three years.
Under European law publicly funded bodies such as the Health Education
Authority are compelled to review contracts with accredited suppliers
every three years.
The current roster consists of Fleishman-Hillard, Munro and Forster
Communications, Shilland and Co, Pielle and Company, Kartupelis
Associates, Harvard Public Relations, Phipps PR and The Ark Group.
Richard Hunt, the HEA’s deputy head of press and PR, said the roster
could either stay the same size or be reduced.
Prospective agencies have to comply to a specific set of criteria, which
include three years audited accounts, a statement of annual turnover and
experience of working closely with advertising agencies. Consultancies
with tobacco companies as clients will automatically be rejected.
The Health Education Authority campaigns tackle issues ranging from
smoking to unplanned pregnancies to HIV awareness. The authority has to
compete against agencies in the private sector for Government contracts.
Around 90 per cent of its work is contracted from the Department of
Health, with small projects from the NHS executive, the European
Commission and World Health Organisation.