PA's liquor board begins its search for PR agency

HARRISBURG, PA: The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), the

US' largest purchaser of wine and spirits, has put its PR business up

for review.

It has used Harrisburg-based Knezic/Pavone Advertising for PR for the

past five years.

Nelson McCormick, chief of PLCB's procurement division, is overseeing

the pitch process. While he would not disclose a budget, he confirmed

that PLCB will hold a pre-proposal conference on April 20 for firms

interested in responding to the agency-of-record RFP. The meeting will

assist agencies in developing programs to review the effectiveness of

current PLCB public relations, education, licensing and marketing


The RFP, posted March 27, is for a contract with five, one-year


The start date is subject to negotiation, and the ending date is slated

for September 30, 2006.The winning agency will report to the board's

press secretary, who heads up an in-house staff of three.

Agencies will be expected to conduct focus groups and other research on

consumer or public attitudes, seek out public service opportunities and

produce multimedia materials, including artwork/graphics, layout and

design. They are also expected to provide advertising for print,

electronic and outdoor media.

PLCB licenses more than 20,000 Pennsylvania businesses to handle

alcoholic beverages. These account for dollars 13 billion in income


The state is famous for Penn Brewery, which markets five different beer

brands, and Pottsville-based Yuengling, the oldest beer brewer in North

America. A new dollars 50 million Yuengling brewery is expected to open

in the next couple of months and should add 100 new jobs to the


The RFP will close at 1pm on May 22.

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