PBS Turns to Fallon

The Public Broadcasting Service tapped Fallon McElligott as agency of record for its $15 million account after an informal review. PBS executives said they were won over by the emotional range and depth of Fallon’s reel.
PBS looked at work from several undisclosed agencies, but heard no formal pitches. The deal was sealed after a few meetings between the client and the agency.
The assignment includes print, online and TV advertising. The latter will air on public television stations and possibly cable networks. Fallon also picks up media planning and buying. The first work is expected in June.
“Our challenge is to come up with a dramatic brand positioning that will live for a long time,” said Mark Goldstein, the Minneapolis agency’s chief marketing officer.
PBS worked with Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco up until last year, company officials said. The two parted when PBS officials felt a need for a new direction. The company has not created new advertising in the interim.
Riney’s work highlighted the differences that set PBS apart from its competitors with the tagline, “If PBS doesn’t do it, who will?” It was not revealed if the tagline will remain part of Fallon’s creative efforts.
“We are looking forward to honing our positioning strategy and creating materials that reinforce the high regard and special relationship people have to PBS programs and their local PBS station,” said Judy Braune, vice president of PBS strategy and brand management, in a statement.
PBS spent $15 million on paid media advertising over the first 11 months of 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting. K