Legacy Adds PR to Review Mix

BOSTON Already in the midst of a review for creative chores on its $50-60 million ad account, the American Legacy Foundation is launching a separate competition for its public-relations business, held by Omnicom’s Porter Novelli.

Pile and Co., the consulting company here that is also overseeing the ad agency search, is managing the PR review as well. Porter Novelli has been invited to defend. The budget was not disclosed but sources estimated spending at $2-4 million. A decision will likely come in early May, at approximately the same time the review for creative chores concludes.

Legacy, which generates the lauded “Truth” anti-smoking campaign, is in the early stages of the PR search process, according to Pile and Co. evp Judy Neer. She referred other questions to client officials, who did not immediately return calls.

Sources said Pile and Co. is now working on a list of PR agency invitees, which will not be finalized for at least 2-3 weeks.

Havas’ Arnold, Boston, and Maxxcom’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami, are defending in the ad review. The client is still in the process of identifying other shops that will participate, Neer said.

Legacy has already made one marketing shift this year, moving media chores to New York startup Media Head, which will handle the assignment in tandem with R.J. Palmer Media Services. Legacy media chores had been with Havas’ Arnold MPG, Boston. Havas was in the process of moving those duties to its flagship media unit, MPG, New York, when Legacy opted to hire Media Head.

Arnold, CP+B and Porter Novelli have worked on the account since its 1999 inception.