CLIFTON, NJ: Twinings North America has selected Ruder Finn to promote the 300th anniversary of the specialty tea brand.This is the most significant agency hire in the company's history, said president and CEO Dan Martin. "We'd like to shout from the rooftops what our customers have been telling us for hundreds of years," he said, "[and] let people know that we've been a well-kept secret." Terms of the account were not disclosed but were estimated to be in the mid-six figures. The company had considered five unnamed agencies. RF is currently focused on an October launch event, where food editors and other reporters will learn about the "world of tea" ahead of the yearlong anniversary celebration in 2006. Stephen Twining, the 10th generation of the company's founders, will also be on hand to talk about the tea company's heritage. In addition, the agency is planning a creative sampling event at a "major thoroughfare," and will target influential news and talk show personalities, according to Bob Seltzer, RF's marketing practice leader. New product launches and partnership initiatives are also in the works. "Twinings is well-respected but has not been covered significantly by the media," Seltzer said via e-mail. "We are utilizing Twinings' 300th anniversary to create brand excitement [and] have the media view Twinings in a new, contemporary way." Twinings, a unit of Associated British Foods, is sold in more than 100 countries, and the company believes it is the world's largest specialty tea maker.