Frontline to A&G

Frontline, public television’s signature public-affairs program, last week named Allen & Gerritsen its first ad agency, charged with developing a national campaign for fall to coincide with the series’ 20th season.

The Watertown, Mass., agency was selected following a review of local contenders. The budget has not been set, but the effort will include print, radio and online elements, as well as promotional TV spots running on PBS stations nationwide.

Though Frontline’s budget will likely be modest, the agency views the account as “a great creative opportunity for us, something different,” said A&G president Andrew Graff. The win marks the first broadcast- or media-related client for A&G, and it could provide the agency with a national showcase, Graff said.

Given the variety of choices on TV and online for viewers today, Frontline felt now was the time to go outside for ad support—to “make sure we’re on the cutting edge, that we’re the talk around the watercooler,” said series manager Jim Bracciale.

Frontline ads from A&G will seek to create a total brand image for the program, with the 20th anniversary being just one element, Bracciale said.

Bracciale said A&G was invited to pitch based on its work for various nonprofit companies, such as the Jazz Musicians Emergency Fund. This month, A&G launched a print effort for the fund with efforts inspired by album sleeves from Blue Note Records and other labels.

A&G bills nearly $100 million from clients such as financial-services company State Street Corp. and TJX’s HomeGoods housewares chain.