The Massachusetts Office of Business Development is seeking agencies to pitch its advertising and marketing account, budgeted at $300,000 to $1 million.
The state is legally bound to place the business out to bid at regular intervals. Three-year incumbent Skinner-James, Watertown, Mass., which recently renamed its advertising services unit Whole Brain Communications, will not defend.
The new agency for MOBD will be charged with encouraging the expansion of existing in-state business and enticing out-of-state firms to move to Massachusetts. Skinner-James had developed the tagline "Powered by ingenuity," used mainly in direct mail, public relations and specialty publishing efforts.
Agencies seeking to participate must have been in business in the Bay State for at least 24 months and possess in-house capabilities for marketing, creative services, production, media planning, direct response and research, according to the request for proposals issued by the state. No joint ventures will be considered. Bidders must also have at least one consumer account with annual billings of at least $2 million using broadcast and print media.
Agencies must submit qualifications by May 5. Finalists will make presentations to department executives from May 15 to May 26. A winner will be named in mid-June, and the contract will commence July 1.
Several state accounts are in play. The $3-9 million Office of Travel & Tourism account is up for grabs, with incumbent Holland Mark Edmund Ingalls, Boston, declining to defend. A pair of $3 million anti-smoking assignments, one targeting minority men and another minority women, were recently placed in review by the Department of Public Health's Tobacco Control Program [Adweek, Feb. 21]. K