The promise of a high-profile guerrilla campaign, 11th-hour partnerships and a pledge to try to extend an 18-month campaign helped Miami's Crispin Porter & Bogusky land Florida's $70 million anti-tobacco account.
The other finalists--Beber Silverstein & Partners of Miami and Paradigm Communications in Tampa, Fla.--each teamed with well-known, out-of-state shops. That strategy, however, appeared to backfire as the leadership role in each case was ambiguous, committee members said. The group also shied away from BS&P, which it thought might have too much on its plate because of the agency's recent Pan Am win.
Yet CP&B's new partners--which include Porter Novelli, the Washington, D.C., public relations firm that helped create the $1 billion national anti-drug effort getting under way here, and the respected Gallup Organization in Rockville, Md.--helped the shop get the business.
"We're going to hire, but because we have so many partners, for [us] it's not as big a piece of business as it sounds," said CP&B partner and creative director Alex Bogusky.
The $60 million agency also vowed to attempt to stretch the 18-month campaign to three years by negotiating matching PSAs to run after the paid series is completed.
The biggest state-funded anti-tobacco effort to date will thrust CP&B onto the national stage. Thirty-six other states are watching Florida as a pilot project for their settlements while Big Tobacco tries to sabotage the effort.
"The tobacco companies will try and split us every way they can," said Peter Mitchell, the state official in charge of the business. Not surprisingly, tobacco firms have been behind efforts to discredit other anti-tobacco campaigns. Many close to the settlement process said the tobacco industry is trying to set impossible terms on the billions of dollars of media campaigns it will fund.
It appeared that CP&B clinched the business once it presented an edgy concept for high-profile guerrilla ads with kids in ski masks facing off against Big Tobacco. The concept, tentatively called "The Rage," is intended to stir things up, Bogusky said.