LOS ANGELES Ground Zero has won creative and media planning for the New York State Department of Health Tobacco Control Program following a review.
Estimated annual ad spending is $35 million. The contract runs for five years.
The Los Angeles shop was not previously identified as a finalist in the competition, along with Havas' Arnold, independent Northlich, Interpublic Group's Gotham and Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness.
Agencies that handle New York State accounts are required to have an office in the state, and Ground Zero, an independent, will soon launch an Albany, N.Y., outpost to handle the anti-smoking business.
Ground Zero has created award-winning work for the California Department of Public Health's Tobacco Control Program for the past nine years. That state's efforts, which began 20 years ago, are considered groundbreaking.
In fact, New York has even run some of Ground Zero's California ads in generic form. It's common practice for agencies to donate their anti-tobacco work to the Ad Council so underfunded states can benefit from the creative. Ground Zero lost California's Tobacco Control Program, a $15-16 million account, after a lengthy review process ended just five weeks ago.
"After nine years with the account and the effort to fight tobacco, it becomes part of what defines you as a company," said Court Crandall, founder and chief creative officer of the independent agency. "It feels bigger than just a normal account. It's a pretty satisfying thing to get to continue that battle in some way and be part of what you stand for."
Laura Eastman, Ground Zero's director of client services, said the multimedia campaign would involve a range of initiatives, such as cessation work, second-hand smoke efforts and taking on Big Tobacco.