Seven ad agencies vie for program
Seven ad agencies are vying for a chance to conduct a multimillion-dollar anti-smoking campaign in Virginia.
Members of the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation, a 23-member group appointed by Gov. Jim Gilmore, selected the agencies as finalists from 22 firms that applied for the job. All but one of the finalists are based in Richmond.
The foundation plans to spend about $28 million during the next three years on the campaign, which will be aimed at discouraging children and teen-agers from using tobacco. The money will come from Virginia's share of the 1998, $206 billion settlement between cigarette companies and 46 states that sued the industry.
"We were very pleased with the responses we got," said Barbara Hughes, chairwoman of the foundation's marketing committee. The foundation sent out more than 100 requests for proposals. Some agencies from Chicago and New York applied, Hughes said.
But the best proposals came from the Virginia-based firms, she said. "There was no preference given," because of their location, she said. "There were five of us that scored them independently," based on criteria such as agencies' experience handling youth campaigns and their knowledge of Virginia markets.
The Richmond-based firms selected as finalists are: Barber Martin & Associates; Burford Company Advertising Inc.; Edelmann Scott Inc.; Neathawk Dubuque; Siddall, Matus & Coughter Inc.; and Work Inc. A seventh finalist, Arnold Worldwide, is based in Boston but has an office in McLean.
The foundation will select the winner this month, Hughes said. The campaign should begin early next year.
The foundation also plans to spend $18 million during the next three years on community-based smoking prevention programs and $12.3 million on research into the root causes of smoking.