Candidate Nader Selects Agency

Shop’s Success With ‘Underdogs’ Like Ventura Wins Business
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Consumer advocate and presidential candidate Ralph Nader has hired North Woods Advertising, whose offbeat work helped former wrestler Jesse Ventura become Minnesota governor, to manage his media campaign.
The Minneapolis agency’s success with unlikely candidates, such as Ventura and liberal Minnesota Democrat Paul Wellstone, who won a Senate seat in 1990, captured Nader’s interest.
“We are working with North Woods because of their demonstrated communication techniques that have helped bring underdog candidates to victory,” said Nader deputy press secretary Laura Jones.
Agency founder and chief creative officer William Hillsman said he plans to develop a media strategy that will capitalize on Nader’s 35 years of helping American consumers.
“Who in the country has done more for consumers than Ralph Nader?” asked Hillsman. “If you have ever bought a product in this country and were satisfied with it, Ralph Nader had something to do with it. If you wanted to take it back, chances are Ralph Nader had something to do with that, too.”
Hillsman has his work cut out for him. So far, Nader has raised a little more than $1 million of the $5 million total he hopes to raise for his campaign. In contrast, the Democratic and Republican candidates each get $67.6 million in taxpayers’ money for their campaigns.
“It is pretty evident we will have the fewest amount of monetary resources, but we are going to do our usual job of squeezing every penny of usefulness out of these dollars,” Hillsman said.
The immediate plan is to make sure Nader is allowed to participate in the three expected national presidential debates. Under Republican and Democratic party rules, a candidate must have at least 15 percentage points in the polls to take part. Current polls show Nader with about 6-7 percent in support.
“We will try to force our way into the de-bates,” Hillsman said. “It is pretty clear that the people setting the standards don’t want Nader or Pat Buchanan in the race.”
The Internet will also play an important role in Hillsman’s media plan. “In the Ventura race, we used the Internet to substitute for a field office, telemarketing and direct marketing,” he said.
Nader’s campaign will likely target voters who feel abandoned by the conventional parties. Said Jones: “Ralph Nader has demonstrated he is the real reform candidate who gets things done.” K