EB Lane to head seven-agency joint effort to combat smoking inArizona

PHOENIX: Arizona shop EB Lane Marketing Communications has been

awarded a PR contract for the state's anti-smoking campaign worth

$3 million to $5 million this year with four one-year

options for renewal.



Lane put together a network of six other agencies to work with it on the

massive assignment. It's also planning to hire more staff to augment its

12-person PR operation. The firm's annual PR income prior to winning the

new contract was roughly $1 million.



The agency also won the advertising portion of the new state

anti-smoking contract valued at $7 million to $10 million

per year. The firm has capitalized billings of $56 million,

employs 75 and claims to be the oldest and largest integrated agency in

Arizona.



"PR is going to be multidimensional and comprehensive," said Amy

Armstrong, director of PR at the agency based in Phoenix.



While 24 firms inquired about the assignment, only three submitted

formal responses to Arizona's RFP, said Armstrong. "It was a very, very

detailed RFP. It weeded out a lot of smaller firms," she said.



The RFP was issued April 15 with responses due May 1. The state then

gave test assignments dealing with the issue of second-hand smoke

exposure to finalists. Other firms that responded to the RFP were

Riester-Robb, which already had done anti-smoking work for the state,

and Kramer-Crasselt.



Other PR firms that will be working with EB Lane on the project are

Grupo N for Hispanic markets; Southwest Dimensions, which targets

African-Americans and Asians; Maverick Marketing, which targets Native

Americans; The Nordensson Group in Tucson and New West Policy Group in

Prescott. "If something needed to be disseminated across the state, we

have people ready to go," said Armstrong. Smith & Harroff, a DC public

affairs firm, also will be involved in the assignment, she said.



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