Hoping to change public perception of the firearms industry, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has started an agency search.
"We want to attempt to correct some very real and obvious misconceptions on the part of the American public on the use of firearms" stemming from a series of well-publicized shootings, said Bob Delsay, president of the Newtown, Conn., group.
Delsay said he is currently looking at fewer than 10 shops nationwide which have dealt with gun-related issues to fashion ads and handle public relations.
Two or three semi-finalists will be chosen by Aug. 10 to vie for the $3 million account.
One shop in the running is Ackerman McQueen of Oklahoma City. It has plenty of experience--it's been the NRA's agency for 17 years. The NRA feels the NSSF poses no conflict, the shop said.
The current NRA campaign, which resurrects the 1980s tagline "I'm the NRA," could hurt Ackerman's chances: The work has already drawn fire from gun control groups who liken the spots to 1950s ads in which doctors touted cigarettes.