Siddall Loss Becomes a Win

ATLANTA-Last week Siddall, Matus & Coughter of Richmond, Va., discovered that on rare occasions an agency can be a loser and a winner.
In a recent pitch for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ $200 million clean air campaign, with $10 million allotted for advertising and public relations, SMC’s consortium of companies was not chosen. The partnership organized by Testcom of Albany, N.Y., lost to the opposing bid team of MCI-Keating Technologies in Tucson, Ariz.
Then SMC received a phone call.
According to Jayne Berry-Steel, public education specialist for the commonwealth’s clean air campaign, “[SMC was] so well organized, so professional, and the campaigns they offered were creative without being too cutesy.”
When the commonwealth approached the winners, “Keating made a huge effort . . . to bring SMC aboard,” Berry-Steel said.
A Keating official said the three partners originally aligned with that shop were “upset . . . but we settled with them and paid them for their efforts.” The names of those agencies were not disclosed.
“We figured we had picked the wrong horse to ride away with. I was delighted to get that phone call,” said SMC president John Martin.
Public relations will be handled by Clark & Company in Boston, which will split the $10 million communications budget equally with SMC. Martin said the $5 million budget was “front loaded,” with most of the spending coming in the first two years of the seven-year project.