Public Works and Government Services of Canada Issues Advertising RFP

Health Canada is seeking a lead marketing and advertising creative agency to provide a full range of

creative development and advertising-related services for various Health Canada marketing campaigns.

Services could include:

·         Providing overall strategic campaign direction

·         Developing creative strategy and managing production (including trafficking of files to

                 media when required)

·         Collaborating with Agency of Record on elaboration of respective creative and media

                                 strategies to ensure alignment and integration between media and creative

·         Offering strategic oversight and advice, including on-going and wrap up evaluation, as



Health Canada is the federal department responsible for helping the people of Canada maintain and improve their health. Health Canada is committed to improving the lives of all of Canada’s people and to making this country’s population among the healthiest in the world as measured by longevity, lifestyle and effective use of the public health care system. One of Health Canada’s core roles is to be an information provider to ensure that Canadians are informed of and protected from health risks associated with food, products, substances and environments, and the benefits of healthy eating. For Canadians to make informed choices related to their health, they need timely, accurate, clear, and objective information delivered in formats that are easily accessible, tailored to their information preferences, reflective of their knowledge and circumstances, and delivered in both official languages. The coordination of national health-related communications and marketing activities are a key component of the communications approach used in raising awareness and providing information about health topics. Health Canada’s Marketing, Partnerships and Creative Services Division (MPCSD) provides communications-related services to Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). From year to year, MPCSD manages a number of small to large-scale marketing campaigns on various topics and reaches out to diverse target audiences that make up the Canadian public (segmented in a variety of manners), healthcare professionals and various stakeholders. Topics and areas of focus vary dependent on departmental and Government of Canada (GC) priorities. Relevant topics may also emerge as the years develop.

HC campaign topics may include:

o Healthy living

o Tobacco cessation

o Vaping prevention

o Food and nutrition

o Drugs and health products (not including the controlled substances and illicit drugs as

   defined below)

o Environmental and workplace health

o Consumer product safety

o Health or health care regulations and/or consultations

o Health science and research

MPCSD wishes to establish contract with one Lead Agency (Contractor) that allows for the appropriate

campaign planning, creative development and execution of key marketing activities that support Health

Canada’s mandate. A separate contract (see Statement of Work – Public Health Agency of Canada) will

be issued for work supporting PHAC’s mandate.

It is expected that the Contractor will develop immediate, short-term and long-term tactics to support

HC activities and align initiatives nationally as the need arises. The Contractor must be able to provide a

full range of marketing activity planning, development and implementation that can include, but is not

limited to:

·         Advertising creative strategy, production and trafficking (including television, digital video,mobile, social media, print, radio, out of home and others)

·         The Contractor must provide information and materials to other contractors of the

                GC, if requested, to test creative concepts as well as evaluate audience impact using

                HC pre-and-post-campaign surveys.

·         Strategic marketing advice and development of non-advertising tactics, including:

·         digital, animated, mobile, social media, infographics, podcasts (including other new technologies)

·         print products such as posters, brochures, etc.

·         partnership building with trusted intermediaries (including professional associations

       and direct to industry communication) and production of supporting resources.

While most initiatives are planned in advance, MPCSD requires Contractor that can also deal with pressing, urgent or emergency-driven marketing that may arise. In the event of a health emergency or crisis, public communications, including marketing and advertising, will be essential to supporting and enhancing HC’s response efforts.

Creative development and advertising-related services for campaigns with smaller budgets is generally

undertaken by MPCSD with in-house support services. This contract is being set up for outsourcing of

projects requiring more complex or significant production support (e.g. mid-to-large scale campaigns)

for which a full-service advertising creative agency may be best suited to address, and to assist with

surge capacity when required.

Scope of Work:

The overarching objective and common goal of HC marketing activities are to provide Canadians with targeted, timely, relevant, comprehensive and accessible information to assist them in making informed decisions to protect their health.

Tools and tactics achieve the following communications goals:

·         Increase awareness and knowledge among Canadians, particularly key target audiences andvulnerable populations, about health risks and how they can protect their immediate and longterm health for themselves and their families.

·         Influence health attitudes and behaviours among the target audiences.

·         Demonstrate leadership and build HC’s credibility as a trusted source of health information.

·         Increase knowledge of the Department’s policies and priorities, as well as programs.

Campaigns often include multiple target audiences (with complementary messages and tactics). Campaigns targeted to health professionals and other stakeholders (e.g. industry) have similar overarching goals of awareness, knowledge and uptake.

Expected Results 

These marketing activities are expected to increase dissemination and uptake of HC’s information and resources by Canadians (including health professionals) and health organizations.


Tailored messages for each HC priority files will be developed as part of any task authorization established within this contract given the responsibilities of other governmental departments concerning health topics, it will be essential to work closely with federal partners to ensure messages are clear, consistent and complementary.


Target audiences will be determined with each marketing activity and may include multiple target audiences such as: children, youth, teens, young adults, adults, seniors, parents (of babies, children, teens or young adults), people with a compromised immune system, pregnant women, students, renters, homeowners, Indigenous peoples, new Canadians, stakeholders and/or health intermediaries.


Environmental considerations will be determined with each marketing activity. Overall research indicates:

·         Canadians prefer a streamlined way to get consistent, reliable information regarding health and safety issues and it is important with a digital first approach to communications to ensure we meet Canadians where they are online

·         Canadians already know basic information on a multitude of topics related to health and safety, but their knowledge levels of these topics vary.

·         Information must be made available to Canadians in a way that is user friendly and useful to them. Visitors to the website should be able to search for information that is relevant to their needs, and have the flexibility to receive that information in a way that suits them. Social media efforts should be focused on targeting key audiences where they are online, providing them with shareable content and identifying other social media influencers that should also be reached to expand reach and impact of messages.

·         Tailoring of campaign messages to reach specific target audiences may require a wide variety of platforms and methods (i.e. not one-size-fits-all).

·         Adaptation/trans creation of resources for the other official language is to take place at the creative strategy and concept stage to ensure the subject matter, tone, environmental factors, and cultural references resonate with the target audience.


The campaign evaluation will be conducted by Health Canada.

The creative agency will only be expected to provide evaluation analytics and insights on tactics developed and implemented as part of the campaign. Metrics supplied could include public opinion research, focus testing, advertising results, web and social media analytics.

Note: As per the Mandatory Procedures for Advertising of the Government of Canada, for any campaigns above $1M (excluding fees and taxes) in media buy, institutions must pre-test their advertising campaigns as well as conduct a post-campaign evaluation using the Advertising Campaign Evaluation Tool (ACET). Public opinion research does not form part of this requirement and will be contracted separately by the Government of Canada if needed.


Suppliers should be aware of the following constraints that will affect how the work must be done:

·         Government of Canada Advertising Government of Canada advertising is defined as any message conveyed in Canada or abroad and paid for by the government for placement in media, including but not limited to newspapers, television, radio, cinema, billboards and other out-of-home media, mobile devices, the Internet, and any other digital medium.

·          GC advertising is coordinated centrally by the Privy Council Office (PCO) and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). Departments implement advertising initiatives in collaboration with these organizations.

·         GC advertising allocations are approved annually. MPCSD will advise the Contractor when funding confirmation is received. The Contractor cannot initiate any advertising deliverables until then.

·         The GC uses the services of a single Agency of Record (AOR), Cossette Communications Inc., to plan and purchase media for government advertising. The Contractor must review the AOR manual, provided by the Project Authority, which outline the GC’s media planning and buying procedures, including ad serving and trafficking information. It is the responsibility of the Contractor to refer to the AOR manual.

·         All Government of Canada advertising campaigns with budgets over $500,000 must be reviewed to ensure that creative materials are non-partisan. Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), the independent organization that administers the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, conducts the reviews on behalf of the Government of Canada. Campaigns with smaller budgets may also be voluntarily submitted for review.

·         The Contractor must not place any GC advertisement in any advertising medium. The Contractor will be responsible for some media trafficking in collaboration with the AOR. However, materials must not be forwarded to media outlets prior to receiving the Project Authority’s written approval, the AOR’s email acknowledgement of receipt of the media buying request and the list of media outlets purchased, as applicable.

·          Upon request from the Project Authority, the Contractor will be required to participate in meetings with the AOR to discuss campaign requirements, procedures, and roles and responsibilities to ensure integrated and seamless campaign planning and execution. 

·         The Contractor should refer to the Mandatory Procedures for Advertising to fully understand GC advertising requirements.

Policies, Acts and Standards

To ensure the integrity and efficacy of GC advertising, the Contractor must provide services and produce materials in compliance with the administrative policies of the GC issued by the Treasury Board (TBS), including, but not exclusive to, the following:

·         The Policy on Communications and Federal Identity ( to ensure the objectivity and credibility of all Government of Canada communications;

·         The Contracting Policy ( to ensure the quality and value of the work they contract out;

·         The Official Languages Act (PART IV – Communications with and Services to the Public and PART VII – Advancement of English and French) ( ) to ensure the respect, equality of English and French in all advertising and to enhance the vitality of official language minority communities;

·          The Privacy Act ( to ensure proper privacy practices are incorporated and respected in the handling of personal information; and x The Standard on Web Accessibility (,

·         The Standard on Web Usability ( the Standard on Web Interoperability ( to ensure conformance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (

The Contractor must maintain financial records in support of HC’s responsibilities under the Financial Administration Act and provide information in support of HC’s responsibilities under the Access to Information Act. As well, the Contractor will ensure compliance with the relevant legislation of all Canadian jurisdictions where the campaign materials will be used.

Due Date:

March 2 



200 Eglantine, A.L. 1914A

Attn: Daniel Morier





Zeno Group and Hunter PR are relevant agencies.

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