WASHINGTON, DC: Nine partnerships have thrown their hats in the ring with the hope of winning the dollars 300 million per year anti-tobacco account for the American Legacy Foundation.
The foundation, funded by the bounty of the 46-state settlement with the tobacco industry, is looking to hire a marketing partner that has been successful in affecting behavioral change, particularly among youth.
Most of the advertising agencies (called the lead agencies by the foundation) have formed partnerships with PR firms, minority agencies and media companies to meet the foundation's criteria. Three have in-house PR capacity.
The absence of some of the largest PR agencies, such as Hill & Knowlton, Burson-Marsteller, and The GCI Group from the list of finalists may be due to their ownership by large advertising firms who have been employed by tobacco companies. The RFP called for full disclosure of any contractual agreements by agency affiliates or sub-contractors who have done work for tobacco giants or any companies owned by them. This would include Kraft Foods and Nabisco.
While disclosure did not automatically eliminate these firms from contention, some agencies wondered if the tobacco connection could be a deciding factor at the finalist level. By that point, considerable time and money would have been spent on the process.
The foundation hopes to cut the list to five or fewer agencies by the end of the month. Between August 12 and 20, the semi-finalists will be evaluated to narrow the list to three.
- GSD&M, Austin, TX with Porter Novelli
- The Richards Group, Dallas, with Golin Harris International
- Jordan McGrath Case & Partners, New York with Euro RSCG Network
- Arnold Communications, Boston with Porter Novelli
- Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York with Dan Klores Associates
- Crowell & Associates/Clear Channel Social Marketing & Ad Agency Salt Lake City
- Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York with Rogers & Associates
- The Martin Agency, Richmond, VA
- Deutsch, Inc, New York