Massive NIMH RFP said to exclude PN

WASHINGTON: A big-budget communications RFP from the National

Institutes of Mental Health is being called "wide open" by industry

executives, many of whom expect the incumbent, Porter Novelli, to

forfeit the business.

PN has held the contract since the early '90s, but it is unlikely that

the agency will pursue it again this year.

PN executives would neither confirm nor deny that they were prepared to

surrender the account.

NIMH, a component of the National Institutes of Health, is the federal

agency whose mission is to reduce the burden of mental illness through

research. The winner of the contract will be responsible for creating

and executing a comprehensive communications strategy for the


No budget has yet been determined for the work.

"This is an important piece of business," said one executive at an

agency now preparing to submit a proposal.

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