TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Crispin Porter & Bogusky’s win of Florida’s $70 million anti-smoking account last week will put the agency on the national stage as 36 other states look to Florida as a pilot for their own settlements. The tobacco industry will also be watching developments closely.
A pledge to try to extend an 18-month campaign to three years and the promise of controversial ads that would have angry children challenging the tobacco industry helped CP&B, Miami, land the business.
“The tobacco companies will try and split us every way they can, and they’re very, very savvy,” said Peter Mitchell, the state official heading the business. Sources believe Big Tobacco is trying to set restrictive terms and disabling time limits on the billions of dollars in media it will be funding through the settlements. Consequently, CP&B will attempt to negotiate matching PSAs for another 18 months after the paid campaign is completed.
CP&B presented an edgy concept for “guerrilla” ads involving rebellious kids in ski masks fighting the Big Brother persona of tobacco companies. One possible copy line is: “We may be hostages, but today we’re the ones making demands.” The shop also proposed an activist magazine with a pop-cultural bent, tentatively titled The Rage. The intent is to attract as much free media attention as possible.
CP&B will also partner with Porter Novelli of Washington, D.C., the public relations firm that helped create the media plan for the $1 billion, national anti-drug effort, and the Rockville, Md.-based Gallup Organization.
The two other finalists were Beber Silverstein & Partners, Miami, which had partnered with Arnold Communications in Boston, and Paradigm Communications, Tampa, Fla., which pitched with Asher & Partners in Los Angeles. The review committee, however, felt that the leadership role in each tandem was ambiguous. Also, panelists noted, only CP&B emphasized the interactive component of the youth-targeted account in its pitch.
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