New York's Empire State Development agency picks Campbell Ewald for nine-figure contract

The creative agency will replace incumbent BBDO on the account.

View of New York City's Central Park (Photo credit: Darren McGee for Empire State Development)
View of New York City's Central Park (Photo credit: Darren McGee for Empire State Development)

NEW YORK: New York State’s economic development agency has awarded Campbell Ewald New York a two-year, nine-figure contract for a range of marketing services following a competitive bid.

The contract with Empire State Development is worth up to $150 million over two years, with a $75 million ceiling each year, and has two annual renewal options, according to documents obtained by PRWeek.

Services performed by the firm will include advertising, digital marketing, events, and media planning and buying, among others, according to the documents.

Campaigns previously run by Empire State Development include Start-Up NY, State of Opportunity, and the well-known tourism push I Love New York. Incumbent agency Finn Partners retained the PR contract for I Love New York, with a budget of up to $600,000, at the start of this year.

Following a request for qualifications process that began earlier this year, Empire State Development identified three firms – incumbent BBDO, Campbell Ewald, and DDB – as finalists for a formal bid process for the broad marketing services account.

November 30 will be the last day of BBDO’s contract, PRWeek has learned. The firm referred requests for comment to the client.

Representatives from Empire State Development and Campbell Ewald also declined comment.

In May, New York State lawmakers said the business-development campaign created by BBDO was too broad and needed to be measured with different metrics, after the state’s comptroller released a harshly critical report on the Open for Business effort. Empire State Development’s marketing team countered in April by releasing a report showing the campaign’s positive results.

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