$70 MILLION WELLPOINT AD ACCOUNT IN REVIEW
Health Care Insurance Giant Has 28 Million Subscribers
The contenders are located or have offices in California: independent RPA, Santa Monica, one of a number of incumbent agencies on the account; Omnicom Group's DDB, Los Angeles; WPP Group's Ogilvy Group, Los Angeles, Grey Worldwide and Y&R Cos., both in San Francisco; Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Worldgroup, San Francisco; and Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney.
The list is likely to be narrowed before the account is awarded in early July, said Catherine Bension, president of Select Resources International, the Santa Monica-based consultant conducting the agency search.
WellPoint spent $13 million in measured media in 2004 while Anthem spent $4.4 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
WellPoint was created by the $16.5 billion merger last November of WellPoint Health Networks and Anthem. The company holds licenses for Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and covers 28 million subscribers.
A spokesman for the Indianapolis-based company said the account was put into review as a result of the merger and a subsequent procurement review aimed at securing efficiencies.