BRUSSELS: The European Commission has cut the budget for its
consumer PR brief to promote the benefits of olive oil across the 15 EU
member states by 25 per cent.
The move, which results in a PR and advertising budget worth pounds 23
million - as opposed to the initial pounds 30 million - is a result of
new financial restrictions imposed by the European council of ministers
when it met last May in Berlin to set the commission’s budget for the
2000 to 2005 period.
The commission’s agriculture directorate, DGVI, originally tendered for
the account last November, alongside a brief to promote olive oil among
healthcare professionals (PR Week, 13 November). No agency was appointed
to the consumer account. The healthcare account was won by incumbent
agency Eurosciences Communication, Hill and Knowlton’s healthcare
network, three months ago.
The commission has asked 40 PR and advertising agencies to repitch for
the three-year consumer account, which involves at least one PR agency
in each EU member state and will be co-ordinated by DGVI’s principal
administrator, Hannu Loven.
For its last consumer PR campaign promoting olive oil, which ended two
years ago, DGVI appointed agencies in 12 countries, including Grayling
for the UK and Ireland.