Bay State Awards Minority Anti-Smoking Work

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has retained a pair of agencies to develop campaigns to help curb smoking among minority men and women.
Geovision, Boston, and Causemedia, Watertown, Mass., both minority-owned firms, were tapped after separate, concurrent reviews.
The total budget is more than $6 million. The 15-month contracts are funded by the master settlement between tobacco companies and the attorneys general of several states.
Campaigns breaking this summer will be aimed at the African American, Latino and Portuguese populations.
Geovision will target adult male smokers. “In some [minority] communities, smoking rates are still very high,” said Geovision founder Juan Mandelbaum. “We want to create messages that are culturally appropriate and have credibility” with specific audiences.
Causemedia will appeal to women and 11- to 17-year-old girls with an effort themed “Keep it fresh,” said agency president and CEO Donna Gittens. Causemedia is working with creative boutique Two Potato, Boston, and Parkinson Media, Newton, Mass.
TV, radio, print and billboard work is planned.
Geovision and Causemedia are no strangers to the DPH, having crafted anti-smoking ads as subcontractors to lead shop Arnold Communications, Boston.
Geovision’s most recent effort on that front includes multilingual billboards that portray the state’s toll-free phone service as “The life line.”
Though not currently an Arnold subcontractor, Causemedia worked for the DPH last year on a campaign to combat compulsive gambling, an effort undertaken in conjunction with the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling. K