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Boating and Fishing Foundation Initiates Review

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The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation has begun a mandated review by issuing a request for proposal to searchconsultants.

Officials at the Alexandria, Va., organization confirmed that as many as 60 questionnaires were mailed to consultants across the U.S.

Kristen Chambers, client director of programs, said she used a list compiled when the group, which is funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, launched its first agency search in the spring of 2000.

At that time, Boston consultancy Pile and Co. was retained. The same company will not conduct this re-view, sources said.

Chambers, the RBFF board of directors and a volunteer task force hope to select a consultant by July 15. Proposals are due back today.

"We will look at references, experience, abilities and differences in how each proposes to conduct the search," said Chambers.

"We are geographically diverse," she added, referring to the industry, government and marketing specialists that comprise the selection committee. "It helps to have someone facilitate and bring another level of expertise and objectivity."

The Richards Group in Dallas, which won the $6 million account in June 2000 over finalists Austin Kelley Advertising, Atlanta, and Loeffler Ketchum Mountjoy, Charlotte, N.C., will be asked to participate, according to Chambers.

An agency decision is expected in September.

The foundation was established to increase the number of people participating in boating and fishing.

Richards developed and implemented "Water works wonders," a national awareness campaign utilizing print, television and radio. The work broke earlier this year.

"What we learned was that those who saw the ads were six times more likely to go boating or fishing or buy equipment," said Chambers.