Fla. Review Is A Team Game

The State of Florida’s $70 million anti-tobacco advertising account, funded by the state’s court settlement with cigarette companies, is heating up.
Ten shops are competing for the position of lead agency, but most are pairing up and developing alliances. In fact, a few Florida shops have decided to forge partnerships with out-of-state agencies that have social-marketing expertise.
Sources close to the process said those pairings are likely to reach the finals. One is Beber Silverstein & Partners of Miami, which has coupled with Houston Herstek Favat of Boston. The latter, which has agreed to be purchased by Arnold Communications, also of Boston, has been the architect of a highly praised anti-tobacco campaign for Massachusetts.
In the same vein, Paradigm Communications of Tampa, Fla., which has paired with Asher & Partners of Los Angeles–a shop known for its anti-tobacco work for California– also has a leg up for the Florida account competition.
Contenders pursuing the account as lead agency include Black Windows Advertising and Marketing, Sarasota, Fla.; BVK/McDonald, Cape Coral, Fla.; Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami (which is pairing with Hispanic firm Zubi Advertising, Coral Gables, Fla.), The William Cook Agency, Jacksonville, Fla.; FKQ, Clearwater; Fla.; Jive Inc., Coral Gables; LMS/Marc Advertising, Dallas; Cramer-Krasselt, Milwaukee; and Hughes Advertising, Atlanta.
Out-of-state lead agencies must fulfill the client’s requirement of having a Florida office, and the state reserves the right to pair lead shops on its own.
The selection committee will review the agencies late this week and choose three to five finalists, according to Florida officials. Creative presentations will be held on Feb. 4, and a decision should be imminent. –with Katy Eckmann