Ogilvy team pulls in $50m Chemistry Council account

WASHINGTON: The American Chemistry Council (ACC) awarded its $50 million image-enhancement campaign last week to the WPP team of Ogilvy PR Worldwide and advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather.

WASHINGTON: The American Chemistry Council (ACC) awarded its $50 million image-enhancement campaign last week to the WPP team of Ogilvy PR Worldwide and advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather.

The two will mount an integrated campaign designed to polish the image of the perpetually unpopular chemical industry. ACC, known as the Chemical Manufacturing Association until 2000, represents such industry leaders as Bayer, Dow, and DuPont.

Ogilvy's win capped a three-month search involving 13 firms. The two other final teams to pitch included Burson-Marsteller with Young & Rubicam, and Middleberg Euro RSCG with Euro RSCG Worldwide.

Dan Pearlman, CEO and managing partner of Bob Wolf Partners/TPG (BWP), the Los Angeles-based consultancy that assisted ACC in the search, declined to provide details of Ogilvy's strategy. But he would say that the agency's win "was predicated on idea-centric proposals as opposed to focusing on the media."

Indeed, several executives close to the competition praised ACC for taking an unusually open-minded and media-neutral approach to the pitch process.

Although the budget was set at $50 million, agency heads said they were granted generous leeway to decide whether advertising, public relations, or marketing tactics would lead the effort.

A number of executives also lauded ACC for its willingness to share in-house research with each of the finalists. "It just made it a lot easier to give them what they wanted," said one.

Among the ACC's recent efforts have been taking a stand in the battle to cut greenhouse emissions and communicating with Congress over the importance of finding alternatives to natural gas.

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