Trahan, Burden & Charles Outlasts Eisner, Reeves In Baltimore Sun’s Lengthy Review

Trahan, Burden & Charles of Baltimore has been awarded the $1.5 million advertising account of the Baltimore Sun after a final review round with crosstown shops Eisner & Associates and The Reeves Agency.
The high-profile business had previously been at W. B. Doner & Co., also of Baltimore. Doner, which had been agency of record for more than a decade, declined to participate in the review.
The Baltimore Sun’s new vice president of marketing and communications, Ross Settles, and recent hire Marcia Goldman, director of communications, decided to look at agencies last fall.
“We went through a long review process, and we looked at the three agencies very carefully,” said Settles. “We chose Trahan because of the agency’s experience in retail and promotional work. Also, we gave them an exercise, and Trahan gave us seven different solutions to the exercise.”
The request for proposal assignment was to develop a branding strategy campaign and spin it off into a product or promotion-specific ad.
Settles said some of Trahan, Burden & Charles’ concepts would be used for the newspaper’s new campaign, which will kick off in mid-February. The Sun will launch a “news you can use” section for parents of young children at that time.
The Sun has several ambitious goals it hopes to achieve with Trahan. It wants to attract new subscribers and especially increase circulation in the market’s outer counties, where household growth is highest. The client also wants to convey the idea that it is the complete information source for local consumers while dispelling the perception that the newspaper is arrogant, or–as stated in the request for proposal–“the only game in town.”
Settles said the newspaper is preparing for an aggressive marketing schedule this year and in 1999, including heavy broadcast pushes in the spring and fall.