Freud Communications secures brief to boost Bupa's consumer profile

Freud Communications has secured a lucrative brief to boost Bupa's profile with consumers.

Appealing: Bupa wants to be viewed as 'essential' service
Appealing: Bupa wants to be viewed as 'essential' service

The agency has scooped the consumer and corporate account, believed to be worth around £250,000, after a fiercely competitive multi-agency pitch.

The private healthcare firm overhauled its PR requirements following the arrival of corporate affairs director Steve John from PepsiCo last year.

John, charged with pro-actively building Bupa's national profile, has strong relationships with Freud as the agency is the longstanding holder of Pepsi's PR account.

Anne Marie Cooklin, head of comms, Bupa UK and North America, confirmed the appointment, saying Freuds would now 'promote our products and services to consumers in the UK'.

She declined to comment further on the brief, but pointed out that the news did not affect Brunswick's financial PR contract.

It is understood that brief is consumer focused, but also entails an aspect of corporate media relations and reputation management work. A number of consumer-only shops were understood to have been phased out of the pitch process at an early stage because of their lack of corporate offer.

One observer noted that a key strategic aim for the firm was to reshape public perceptions about private health and position it as an essential service rather than a luxury or a job perk.

The firm has re-focused on its consumer comms and public reputation in recent times.

Within the past year Bupa has brought in Penn Schoen & Berland (PSB) to research stakeholder attitudes. The firm also handed new consumer project briefs to both Brando and Frank PR.

The brief extends beyond healthcare and across Bupa's UK business, covering insurance, aged care, healthcare and care management.

It is now thought the majority of this work will be brought together under Freud's account, which encompasses its products, services and brand under one roof.

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