The department announced in January that the campaign would be part of the government's Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives strategy. £300m has been earmarked for marcoms.
The DoH this week appointed M&C Saatchi to handle the £75m anti-obesity advertising account. It is understood to be finalising a shortlist of four PR agencies. A spokeswoman for the department refused to give any dates for when the list would be finalised.
Minister of State for Public Health Dawn Primarolo said: 'It's a real challenge to change people's eating and exercise habits.'