US Mint makes change in quarter push: GCI goes, H&K takes over

WASHINGTON, DC: In an abrupt change of heart, the US Mint has taken GCI Group/Grey Advertising off its dollars 10 million, 10-year integrated program to introduce the 50 new state-themed quarters, and shifted the business over to Hill & Knowlton.

WASHINGTON, DC: In an abrupt change of heart, the US Mint has taken GCI Group/Grey Advertising off its dollars 10 million, 10-year integrated program to introduce the 50 new state-themed quarters, and shifted the business over to Hill & Knowlton.

WASHINGTON, DC: In an abrupt change of heart, the US Mint has taken

GCI Group/Grey Advertising off its dollars 10 million, 10-year

integrated program to introduce the 50 new state-themed quarters, and

shifted the business over to Hill & Knowlton.



The move was somewhat shocking, as the program’s first 18 months saw

more than its share of high-profile publicity. The rationale behind the

agency change remains somewhat of a mystery as well.



’The program that we conducted was extremely successful,’ said GCI VP

Jill Brenner. She pointed to a huge resurgence in coin collecting as a

hobby since GCI won the account in 1998, and noted that online sales of

the new quarters have surpassed the two-million mark. Brenner said the

agency intends to enter the campaign into PR awards competitions.



The Mint refused to comment, other than issuing a statement saying they

use PR firms on a number of projects.



According to H&K senior MD David McKay, the firm’s challenge is to build

an advertising practice in its DC office - not just to service the Mint,

but to attract other accounts that sister Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter

Thompson won’t touch because ’they demand higher budgets.’



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