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Calif. Taps Lawrence, Mayo & Ponder

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Despite pitching in the dark, Lawrence, Mayo & Ponder on Thursday was selected by the California Department of Health Services Cancer Prevention and Nutrition Section for a marketing contract. The account is worth an estimated $20 million over three years.

LM&P, Newport Beach, Calif., was chosen in a review that also included Sacramento agencies Runyon, Saltzman & Einhorn and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.

Agency executives met with state health officials April 16 but were forced to make their pitch in the dark when power was shut off at 5:15 p.m. to conserve energy as part of the state?s energy crisis. "It's amazing what things are conceived in the dark," said Lynda Lawrence, LM&P president and co-creative director. State health officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The account combines several state healthy living initiatives previously handled separately, including the California Nutrition Network, Latino 5 A Day, California 5 a Day, Women's 5 a Day, and youth-oriented PowerPlay! campaigns. LM&P?s contract for the California Nutrition Network expired April 30.

Work will include advertising and public relations to emphasize the benefits of eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day and engaging in physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily.

Media work went to Initiative Media North America's Initiative Partners, public relations to Hill & Knowlton.