WASHINGTON: AARP is set to award its wide-ranging communications account to a combination of newcomer Golin and incumbent Rogers & Cowan/PMK, parting ways with FleishmanHillard after a long partnership.
The organization is in the process of awarding contracts for PR, public affairs and media relations to the Interpublic Group agencies. Responsibilities will include strategic and executive positioning, media, events and issue and messaging support, said Terry Banks, senior principal for media relations at AARP, via email.
Golin would replace longtime incumbent FleishmanHillard on the account.
AARP worked with Rogers & Cowan before the firm was merged with fellow IPG entertainment-focused agency PMK.
The RFP process began in early October, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Golin and Rogers & Cowan/PMK declined comment and referred questions to AARP. Fleishman declined to comment on AARP’s decision.
The Omnicom Group agency has worked with AARP since at least 2000 and has strong ties to the organization. Martha Boudreau, AARP EVP and chief communications officer, worked at FleishmanHillard for 17-plus years and served as president of the agency’s Mid-Atlantic region and Latin America. Boudreau was inducted into the PRWeek Hall of Fame in 2019. Former AARP executive Emilio Pardo, who was chief brand officer and a member of AARP’s executive team before leaving for Jackson National Life in 2016, is also a FleishmanHillard alum.
AARP, a lobbyist and advocacy group for people over age 50, consolidated operating revenue for 2018 was $1.6 billion, up slightly over 2017. The organization has not reported its 2019 earnings.