ALEXANDRIA, VA: The American Diabetes Association (ADA) hired Mullen as its first AOR to help the nonprofit unify its messaging about the seriousness of diabetes. The three-year account, which includes PR and ads, has a budget of about $1 million each year, according to Larry Hausner, CEO of the ADA.
The Alexandria, VA-based nonprofit conducted market research in 2008 and found that many people do not understand the seriousness of diabetes, including those who have the disease, Hausner said. He added that the ADA was concerned about the mixed messaging that its various departments were putting out to the public.
“We just felt we needed to take a look and have stronger communications and a stronger brand strategy,” he said. “We are undergoing a major brand audit.”
Wenham, MA-based Mullen is tasked with the development of a rebranding campaign, long-term communications strategy, PR for the ADA's annual events and programs, and public affairs, said Tony Labriola, SVP of the firm's PR practice. It will also implement an advertising campaign.
An integrated team from Mullen's Pittsburgh and Wenham, PA-offices is working on the account and Hausner said that the ADA was specifically looking for one firm that could provide full creative services.
“We want to get more people to not just be aware of diabetes but raise the understanding of diabetes on society,” said Labriola. “We want people to connect with diabetes in a meaningful way.”
Three other agencies pitched the account during the three-month review process and it was awarded to Mullen on January 15, Hausner said. He declined to say the names of the other firms.
He said that the ADA had worked with firms on an as-needed basis prior to its work with Mullen.