4 Pitch for Miss. Anti-Smoking

Four Southeast agencies will make presentations this week to handle the two-year, $12.5 million Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi’s anti-smoking campaign aimed at curbing teen tobacco use.
The funding, like similar advertising efforts in other states, comes from a $4 billion settlement between Mississippi and the tobacco companies.
The agencies that will present this week include The Ramey Agency, GodwinGroup and Maris, West & Baker, all in Jackson, Miss., and Slaughter Hanson Advertising of Birmingham, Ala.
Maris is pitching the business in tandem with Crispin Porter & Bogusky in Miami and Porter Novelli in Washington, D.C. Those shops handle the anti-smoking effort in the state of Florida. Ramey has partnered with Spike/DDB in New York. It was a prerequisite, sources said, that each agency either have an office in the state or a national presence.
According to sources close to the review process, agencies will make their presentations this week, with a decision expected no later than the end of the month. The agency presentations are scheduled between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Oct. 15.
Client officials who are conducting the pitch have been virtually incommunicado with the participants.
“We were told if we had any questions [after the agencies were briefed as a group] that we could submit them, but that our questions and the answers would be sent to everybody,” said one agency executive, who requested anonymity. “We haven’t asked them anything because we didn’t want to be helping everyone else.”
The client maintains a Web site where questions and answers would also be posted and available to all comers. As of last Thursday, no new information had been presented concerning the review.
Officials with the Mississippi Attorney General’s office could not be reached for comment last week.