American Legacy Signs Pile for ’03 Creative Search

BOSTON — The American Legacy Foundation has hired consulting company Pile and Co. to run the upcoming review for at least the creative portion of its advertising account, according to Chris Cullen, the client’s evp marketing. The move had been expected (Adweek.com, Nov. 20).

The Washington, D.C.-based foundation must place creative duties in play every five years due to an arrangement with its board of directors. Havas’ Arnold, Boston, and Maxxcom’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami, have been invited to defend. Pile and Co. will finalize criteria and begin soliciting agencies “in the January-February timeframe,” Cullen said. Agencies handling tobacco products will not be eligible to pitch.

Still undecided, however, is whether media chores with Havas’ Arnold MPG will also be reviewed along with the creative. The client earlier this month launched an internal “audit” to find ways to make its media operation run more smoothly; that process continues at least through year’s end, Cullen said.

Legacy spent more than $100 million on ads in 2000, but dropped its outlay to $60 million last year in order to conserve funds. In April, the group will receive the last of five $300 million payments pledged by Big Tobacco under the Master Settlement Agreement. Through savings and investments, Legacy said it has set aside $584 million to extend the “Truth” anti-smoking campaign once the settlements end.