FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products issues $900m Real Cost RFP

The government agency is looking for firms to continue work started in 2014 with several add-ons.

WASHINGTON: The Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has issued a $900 million RFP for an agency to continue a series of anti-smoking campaigns launched under the Real Cost youth tobacco-prevention push in February 2014.

The Real Cost effort was intended to educate at-risk youth about the harmful effects of cigarettes and to stop youth who are considering smoking from trying it, according to the RFP. However, the new effort will prioritize a specific subcampaign called Real Cost ENDS, short for electronic nicotine delivery systems, an e-cigarette education effort that began in 2017.

Under that push, e-cigarette use declined but remained high, with 3.6 million middle- and high-school students saying they had used the devices in the past 30 days, according to government documents.

With this new campaign, the center wants to reach more than 10 million teens who have used e-cigarettes or are open to trying them and educate them about “the real cost of vaping.”

Proposals are due to the CTP by December 22. The winner will be awarded an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract consisting of five year-long periods, the first of which is set to begin on April 1, 2021.

The ENDS campaign’s paid media plan includes traditional broadcast media and streaming audio and video, digital, cinema and out-of-home advertising. It also uses Real-Cost-branded social channels on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter and a campaign website. These efforts will continue under the new RFP.

The CTP will ask the winning vendor to continue several subcampaigns, including a specific cigarette effort targeting at-risk youth ages 12 to 17 who are open to smoking or are already experimenting with cigarettes. The winning firm will also continue the Fresh Empire multicultural youth tobacco-prevention campaign and the Every Try Counts adult smoking cessation education campaign.

The winning bidder will also manage a new CTP effort under development that will target Native American and Alaska Native youth ages 13 to 17.

Specific tasks for all campaigns include creative development and production of traditional advertising, social media, digital media, collateral materials and materials for partners and other audience influencers. The winning vendor will also handle media buying duties including planning, purchasing, coordinating and conducting a post-buy analysis of all paid media.

The work will include an interactive mobile and digital media strategy encompassing but not limited to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and emerging platforms, as well as mobile apps, texting programs and user-centered websites.

The winning firm will be required to develop a plan to work with corporate and nonprofit partners to deliver campaign messages to target audiences.

The pricetag of the 2014 Real Cost youth tobacco-prevention campaign was $625 million, and was awarded to True North Communications, a partnership between FCB New York and Rescue.

Representatives from the two firms could not be reached for comment.

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