Leaked document shows Kaiser Permanente is shopping for agencies to handle its $85 million-plus ad business

  • Kaiser Permanente is shopping for new ad agencies, and the result could mean a loss for ad giant IPG.
  • Kaiser spent at least $85 million on advertising in 2020, up 20% over 2019.
  • It would be a key account for ad agencies that have seen spending in most categories decline.
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Kaiser Permanente is shopping for agencies to handle its multi-million dollar ad business.

The health industry’s largest managed care organization issued four pitches seeking agencies to handle creative, media-buying, B2B, and digital experience work, according to a person with direct knowledge and a request for proposal for one of the reviews that was viewed by Insider.

The outcome could spell a loss for IPG, whose agency Campbell Ewald has made Kaiser’s ads for the past 17 years, and which is expected to try to keep the business.

While many advertisers cut their budgets last year, Kaiser increased its spend, by around 20% to at least $85 million, according to market research firm Kantar, making it a critical client for agencies that have lost money in nearly every category except healthcare marketing over the past year.

The RFP says Kaiser wants to build on its growth of the past decade by staying ahead of the evolving healthcare landscape and points to doctors’ visits and sales efforts going increasingly virtual over the past year.

“As a ‘digital first’ organization that delivers care in physical settings, we must continue to transform, innovating and disrupting the status quo to deliver stronger and better experiences and build our brand at the same time,” it reads.

A Kaiser spokesman said the review is part of its regular efforts to evaluate vendors.

Kaiser joins other companies like Cigna and TD Bank that are changing their ad strategies in response to the pandemic.

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