California agency awards incumbent $40m account

SACRAMENTO: The California Department of Public Health said it plans to award the incumbent, which includes Paine PR, a $39.5 million integrated communications contract for the state's Network for a Healthy California program.

SACRAMENTO: The California Department of Public Health said it plans to award the incumbent, which includes Paine PR, a $39.5 million integrated communications contract for the state's Network for a Healthy California program.

Ian Tovar, contract manager for special projects and regional infrastructure unit at the Network for a Healthy California, confirmed that the lead agency is Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn and subcontractors include Paine PR, MSC Consulting, Field Research Corporation, Hill & Company Communications, and Digital WkShop.

The Network for a Healthy California program addresses obesity and related chronic diseases, such as diabetes, by encouraging low-income state residents to eat more fruits and vegetables and exercise. 

Officials at the health department made the announcement September 20 after an RFP was issued in April. Work is expected to begin October 1, following a public comment period. 

Runyan and its team of subcontractors were also awarded the account in 2007, when it last came up for bid. As the incumbents on the account, the team of agencies helped develop the “Champions for Change” campaign, which launched in 2007, and will continue to update the campaign under the new contract.

Eric Borsum, managing partner at Paine PR, the incumbent PR agency, declined to comment on the notice.

Tovar said the budget increased by $3 million and the scope of work shifted slightly to allocate for social media and food stamp outreach. Social media is included in the budget for media placement and buying, which makes up about 61% of the budget.

Teams led by Campbell-Ewald and Fraser Communications also pitched the account.

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