State Of Maine Names Trio For Anti-Smoking

Led By CD&M, Arnold And Asher Become Subcontractors On Statewide Assignment
BOSTON–The Maine Bureau of Health’s Tobacco Prevention & Control Unit has awarded its first advertising program to Creative Design & Marketing, which teamed up with Arnold Communications and Asher & Partners to win the 17-month anti-smoking assignment.
Budget levels are still being negotiated, but both the state and Creative Design & Marketing president Bob Cott said spending will likely be in the $2-3 million range. The initiative is funded mainly through the state’s 74-cent excise tax on cigarettes.
Burgess Advertising & Associates and McDonald Communications, both in Portland, Maine, were the other finalists in the review.
Cott credited the joint effort with Arnold and Asher for helping his 25-person shop in Portland, Maine, prevail. Arnold in Boston has handled Massachusetts’ lauded anti-smoking initiative since purchasing Houston Herstek Favat late last year. Asher in Los Angeles works on similar efforts for the state of California.
“With these associations . . . we were able to hit the ground running [and] shorten the learning curve,” said Cott, indicating that research and techniques used in Massachusetts and California will be adapted in upcoming ads that Creative Design & Marketing will create for Maine’s anti-smoking initiative.
The first commercials, scheduled to break in May, will target teenage smokers and pregnant mothers with “direct, compelling messages [as opposed to humor], which research shows us are the most effective,” according to Cott.
At least some Massachusetts anti-smoking spots will run in Maine, with Creative Design & Marketing handling media placement, he said. One such ad that tested well in local focus groups, Cott said, stars a twenty-something woman who appears to be in her mid-50s. At the close of the spot, she says she began smoking at a young age to look older and, unfortunately, achieved her goal.
Arnold is serving as a subcontractor for anti-smoking accounts around the country to enhance its credentials in the category, said executive vice president Lisa Unsworth.
The shop plans to team with Asher to pitch a federally funded nationwide anti-smoking account in an upcoming review, and the two agencies are currently facing off for the estimated $70 million Florida tobacco control initiative. In that review, Arnold has teamed with Beber Silverstein & Partners of Miami, while Asher has paired with Paradigm in Tampa, Fla.
In addition, the Food and Drug Administration confirmed last week that Arnold has been tapped for a $5 million media buying assignment [Adweek, Feb. 2]. The agency, which had already won creative duties for that account, will place ads in select Southern states to reinforce laws banning the sale of tobacco products to minors.