Drug office wants Fleishman to lead restored program

WASHINGTON: The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is restoring a corporate outreach program that was on the chopping block.

WASHINGTON: The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is restoring a corporate outreach program that was on the chopping block.

The ONDCP is seeking to award the work to Fleishman-Hillard, which last year won its rebid for the multimillion dollar National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign.

Fleishman previously handled corporate outreach as part of that effort, but the ONDCP had proposed cutting that initiative for the 2005 fiscal year.

Congress, however, opposed the cut, calling corporate outreach "among the most successful" elements of the PR campaign and estimating that every dollar spent on it has yielded $12 from the private sector.

Tom Riley, director of public affairs for the ONDCP, also noted that corporate outreach has been successful, but budget cuts had forced the agency to make "difficult choices."

But with Congress's ruling, "We're trying to find ways to squeeze other things," he said.

The ONDCP's contract with Fleishman has been in the news this month after the Government Accountability Office ruled that a VNR developed for the campaign was "covert propaganda."

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