Leo Burnett and Starcom have lost the Department of Health’s £4m NHS Careers account after pitching against three other roster agency teams. Publicis and PHD have also been kicked off the pitch, leaving AMV and Manning Gottlieb OMD to battle it out against Lowe and Experience.
The NHS Careers account includes brand advertising aimed at encouraging potential recruits to enquire about working in the social care sector, ranging from domiciliary and residential care work, to professional degree-level social work.
The pitch – being run by COI Communications – also invited strategic proposals on potential future recruitment into careers in healthcare.
Leo Burnett inherited the business when it merged with D’Arcy in 2002. D’Arcy had won the brief from Saatchi & Saatchi in 1999.
The two final teams’ proposals will go into research before a decision is reached. The DoH plans to put out a new campaign in spring 2007.
The careers account pitch is separate to the review of the NHS recruitment advertising, marketing, and search and selection services. The process is being overseen by the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency, and also includes media planning and buying, direct marketing and the digital business.
The NHS is looking to award contracts for three years, with the scope for a 12-month extension. The deadline for submitting tenders is the end of December.
The NHS faces an ongoing recruitment battle as members of staff retire from service or defect to better-paid agency work or to jobs overseas.